Joe Bike

Construction begins in March on major improvements to Gateway Green

Posted by on February 6th, 2020 at 11:17 am

It’ll get much better.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

We love Gateway Green, but it needs a lot more love to reach its potential.

The 25-acre bike park and green space in east Portland along a light rail line and bike path where I-84 and I-205 intersect, will be three years old this summer. Yet despite attracting thousands of people and hosting major events, it still doesn’t have a paved gathering area, lights, running water or bathroom facilities.

Beginning next month the Portland Parks & Recreation Bureau will start a $5.75 million project (funded through a Metro grant and $4.75 million in system development charges) that will come with a host of substantial upgrades. Working with partners and volunteers from the nonprofit NW Trail Alliance and Friends of Gateway Green, the project will build out Phase 2 of the park plans.

Once the park re-opens in early summer November of this year, users will enjoy trail and path upgrades, a new “gravity-oriented mountain bike trail”, a play area, habitat improvements, new plantings, a drinking founding, restrooms, and more.

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Juntu Oberg with NW Trail Alliance said in a statement, “We look forward to enhanced off-road cycling opportunities for local families and encourage everyone around the region to come to the park on public transit, supporting our ‘Ride to Your Ride’ mission.”

The project will be built by Raimore Construction, a locally-owned contractor with a field staff that’s over 60% minorities and women, and a management staff made up of over 80% minorities and women.

TriMet graphic showing new MAX tracks and path to Gateway Green (on the left).

While Phase 2 is exciting, the final build-out promises to connect the park to the community in a major way. According to Portland Parks, the final phase of construction that’s still a few years down the road will come with a new park entrance to the south near the Gateway Transit Center (and a shopping center). TriMet’s Better Red project will add a second track and a new platform to the MAX Red Line. It will also add a new walkway and bike path to connect the existing Transit Center with the new platform that extends northward over I-84 to provide a new, more accessible route to Gateway Green (see graphic above)!

The $200 million Better Red project has an estimated completion date of 2023-2024.

The future is very bright for Gateway Green. Stay tuned for project updates and opportunities to volunteer for work parties.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org
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18 Comments
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    Paul H February 6, 2020 at 11:24 am

    According this announcement on PP&R’s website, Gateway Green will reopen after construction in November 2020, not early summer:
    https://www.portlandoregon.gov/parks/article/753114

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      Eric H February 6, 2020 at 12:06 pm

      Right, I think JM meant to say early winter. Just in time for the trails to get trashed. On the upside of things the ORCMP should be done any day now and we’ll have a whole lot more trails to ride in the city this summer. Right?

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      Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) February 6, 2020 at 12:34 pm

      Yes. I made a mistake. It has been corrected. Sorry for confusion. That’s a bummer!

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    chris February 6, 2020 at 11:41 am

    A new gravity trail sounds sick. Would like to know more details.

    Would also be cool if they got Velosolutions to build a full-sized paved pump track there, like in Hood River and Redmond. The mini track that’s there leaves much to be desired.

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      Matt February 6, 2020 at 5:11 pm

      Yes, the current micro-pump track is a huge disappointment. I only ever see toddlers using it. Here’s hoping for a real, grown-up-sized pump track this time around!

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    Al February 6, 2020 at 11:57 am

    While this sounds exciting, these are the kinds of upgrades that typically usher in a use fee. What steps are being taken to insure the area remains free for everyone to enjoy?

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    Steve Hash February 6, 2020 at 12:11 pm

    Anyone been out there lately? It seems as if the area is slowly being taken over by persons without houses.

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      Middle of the Road Guy February 6, 2020 at 12:48 pm

      At least they have multiple bikes.

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      Billyjo February 6, 2020 at 1:29 pm

      Bathrooms will only make it worse.

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      D'Andre Muhammed February 6, 2020 at 1:44 pm

      I couldn’t believe it when somebody told me that was some type of mountain bike park. Scary folks around there.

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    Kittens February 6, 2020 at 1:58 pm

    It is really sad that my first reaction to this is that it will be defaced and defiled by teems of drug-crazed packs of “urban campers” -and it is indeed true. That area is already overrun. This is how organized society breaks down.

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    Jason R Britton February 6, 2020 at 2:41 pm

    I just came here to make a positive comment about this positive development. Here it is:
    Thanks Portland Parks!

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    Mark February 6, 2020 at 3:21 pm

    My son and I visited back in May on a sunny day; had a great time! Nice little mountain bike experience in the middle of a big city. As others have noted, if the mental health/drug abuse/urban camping crisis doesn’t change this place will easily get trashed.

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    SurleyDave February 7, 2020 at 7:13 pm

    I rode there twice a week from April through October this past year. The un-housed folks pretty much stayed on the other side of the fence, on the railroad right of way. I’m curious how Portland will work the bathroom situation. We only had a coupe of interactions with people who weren’t on bikes, and they were fine. I do hope that they consider leaving the new trails closed until 2021 so they don’t get torn up right away.

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    Charley February 8, 2020 at 1:39 am

    Wait, Portland’s only bike park is going to be closed *all* summer? No riding there? No trails open? That’s a huge bummer. Why is the construction scheduled for March-November, instead of September-May or whatever?

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      Chris I February 8, 2020 at 5:17 pm

      Construction during winter would be a bad idea.

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    Matthew72 February 9, 2020 at 2:58 pm

    Hey folks, imagine the houseless folks numbers if Gateway Green never happened. And ditto- Thanks Portland Parks!

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    45c February 11, 2020 at 9:17 am

    So why not just wait on the improvements until the major project and keep it accessible?

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