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Time to weigh in on future carfree bridge between Oak Grove and Lake Oswego

Posted by on August 2nd, 2019 at 8:10 am

Looking north from Foothills Park in Lake Oswego at the potential future site of a new bridge. (Existing railroad bridge in in the background).
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Clackamas County wants to know if they should move forward with a new, carfree bridge over the Willamette River that would connect Oak Grove/Milwaukie to Lake Oswego. Known as “OGLO,” the project has been on the radar since 2009 when a Metro study found strong public support for the idea.

Clackamas County has opened an online open house and will host two open houses next week to garner feedback as part of a Metro-funded feasibility study.

Possible alignment locations.

While the County knows people want a new connection over the river, questions loom over how and where to do it . Challenges include: a lack of publicly-owned property on both sides of the river; questions over who would fund, own, and maintain the facility; how to connect a bridge to existing paths, and so on.

A railroad bridge exists just north of the study area; but it’s not an option because it would be difficult to access with biking and walking paths and its owners say they don’t want the added liability of public use. That leaves a nine-mile stretch of the Willamette River — from Sellwood to Oregon City — without a way for bicycle users to cross. The OGLO Bridge has the potential to dramatically improve our regional bicycling network by making a direct connection to the existing Tryon Creek and Trolley Trail paths.

Clackamas County has come up with 10 alignment options for a potential new bridge (see them all below). The online survey gives future bridge users basic details about each option and asks whether or not it’s worth pursuing further.

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The only decisions that have been made so far is that the new bridge would be for walkers and rollers only. Transit vehicle use has been ruled out due to cost concerns and emergency vehicle access is still a possibility.

Here are the 10 alignment options under consideration (click to enlarge):

According to Clackamas County, feedback from the online survey and upcoming open houses will be taken to the project’s policy committee later this month where they’ll narrow down the alignment options and “dig deeper into the feasibility of a pedestrian and bicycle bridge across the Willamette River.” This feasibility study process will be completed by the end of this year. If it’s a “go”, the next steps would include design, permitting, and more public outreach.

The online open house is open through August 9th. Open houses are set for Monday August 5th, 7:00 to 9:00 pm at Lake Oswego Maintenance Center and Wednesday August 7th from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at the Oak Grove Performing Arts Center. Learn more at the official project website.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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was carlessKatie UreyEl BicicleroHello, KittyCarrie Recent comment authors
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Tom Howe (Contributor)
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Here’s a group ride from Portland down to the open house in Oak Grove. The ride will also go by some of the possible landing locations on the Oak Grove side of the river.

https://www.facebook.com/events/2490472264351568/

X
Guest
X

Reasons to build a bridge engineered for emergency vehicle access:
–sooner or later somebody will have a medical emergency on or near the bridge
— SOL, somebody is going to drive their personal motor vehicle on it
–SOL, a bunch of other bridges will fall in the river

Ed
Guest
Ed

Super excited to see a new bridge here. Curious why they aren’t looking to make it so that buses could use it since they are keeping open the option for use by emergency response vehicles. It could be a triple win for emergency response, transit, and bike/ped.

GlennF
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GlennF

how about they get rid of that Lake O Trolly and make that a multi-use path…

David Hampsten
Guest

How about a river tunnel? There’s one on Highway 99 under the Frasure River at Delta, near Vancouver BC, and many cities in Europe have bicycle/ped-only tunnels under major rivers such as in Amsterdam.

David Hampsten
Guest

Who’s offering to pay for it and how much is realistically available?

Champs
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Champs

Suburbs frequently complain that regional transit doesn’t serve their local interests, yet pass on good opportunities to support the agency. It’s almost like they’re arguing in bad faith.

X
Guest
X

Another transit bridge that bike riders approach through a bunch of swing gates and bespoke traffic lights? Meh.

 
Guest
 

In my opinion any bridge which does not allow emergency vehicles to cross is immediately a non-option. Eventually, Portland will experience a large earthquake that will collapse many of the old bridges (e.g. Burnside), leaving newer bridges like this one the only way to transport vital supplies and services across the river.

Nick
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Nick

Thanks for the online open house link! Feedback submitted.

GlennF
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GlennF

Would rather see a bridge from Meldrum Bar Park to Mary S Young.

GlennF
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GlennF

or from Meldrum Bar Park to Burnside Park

B. Carfree
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B. Carfree

I’m curious about the mention that the possible site to the north is out because the property owners don’t want the added liability of public use. I thought Oregon indemnified property owners when they allowed their property to be used for recreation. I was told that is why so many lumber companies allow the public to use their logging roads. I hope there is a legal beagle on here to set me straight.

Jamie
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Jamie

The residents of Lake Oswego don’t go to Oak Grove and don’t want the ***deleted by moderator*** in their city. This project is completely one sided and an epic fail.

Jim Lee
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Jim Lee

pixie
An interesting statute with fascinating cases interpreting ithttps://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/105.682https://law.justia.com/cases/oregon/supreme-court/2010/s058035.htmlhttps://law.justia.com/cases/oregon/court-of-appeals/2018/a159931.htmlhttps://law.justia.com/cases/oregon/court-of-appeals/2018/a159190.htmlThere are more cases and discussions out there for anyone interested in a deeper diveRecommended 0

Interesting cases!

Motorcyclists and cliff divers!

Jonathan should pay attention to ORS 105.602 when gravelling!

Kittens
Subscriber
Kittens

I think this is a fantastic idea but with the outrageous cost of infrastructure these days, there is no way they will get this project past the dreaming stage 🙁

Knowing how these things tend to go, it can’t just be a bridge for bikes and peds, it will need to support the weight of a 30-ton fire truck be 40′ wide in case the firetrucks need to pass each other… you know, for safety.

Carrie
Guest
Carrie


In my opinion any bridge which does not allow emergency vehicles to cross is immediately a non-option. Eventually, Portland will experience a large earthquake that will collapse many of the old bridges (e.g. Burnside), leaving newer bridges like this one the only way to transport vital supplies and services across the river.

You are assuming that a) bicycles are not emergency vehicles and b) the rest of the infrastructure will be in place to enable a motor vehicle to move around the area unimpeded

Katie Urey
Guest
Katie Urey

Before taking online survey, bookmark this posting. The graphics in the online survey are confusing.