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If you live, work, ride or breath the air in Washington County, there are two projects we want to put on your radar: An expansion of the off-road pump track at Eichler Park and a planning process for a new carfree bridge over Highway 26.
Eichler Park Pump Track
Eichler Park is about 10 miles west of Portland City Hall on SW Farmington Road and Menlo Drive. Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District is partnering with Portland-based Northwest Trails Alliance to expand the pump track, which has been open since at least 2009. The last major update to the track was completed in 2011.
According to THPRD, “The bike track will be extended toward the south end of the park to improve safety. This expansion will add more space between riders, promote access to a variety of skill levels, and improve the overall function of the bike track.” With NWTA builders in the mix, you know the track will be built to the latest and greatest standards. In addition to a larger, funner track to ride, the project will also add picnic tables, a main entrance, and other upgrades.
Construction is expected to begin May 1st and be finished by May 31st. You can learn more at THPRD’s website and share your input until April 28th via this survey (also available in Spanish).
Westside Trail Bridge over Highway 26
THPRD is in the planning stages of a new link in the Westside Trail between NW Greenbrier Parkway and the north side of Highway 26 near Sunset High School just south of Cornell Road.
“The bridge would create a link connecting 25 miles of our Regional Trails system for pedestrians and bicyclists to reach destinations across Washington County,” says THPRD.
The project is in the community outreach phase and no designs or alignments have been decided on just yet. To learn more and sign up for project emails check out the Westside Trail Bridge page at THPRD.org.
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That path over 26 will be a godsend. Currently there are no options that I’d be comfortable taking a hesitant cyclist on between the Sunset Transit Center and the Rock Creek Trail, a distance of about six miles. In addition to this, I hope they also add crossings at 173rd, near Johnson Creek, and at Century; this would result in one path across 26 between each interchange on the highway.
Unfortunately, I think that there are plans to create a new car crossing under 26 that will connect 173rd (south), and 174th (north).
As long as it includes decent bike and walk/run infrastructure as well, I’d 100% support such a project. I don’t see anything unfortunate about it.
When I read, “A renewed pump track and a carfree bridge over Highway 26?” the first thing that came to my mind was that it was single project–a wide bridge that would incorporate a pump track. The symbolism would be incredible–when the highway was built, it destroyed natural space and connectivity, and years later we respond back with a project that creates natural space and connectivity over the airspace above the highway.
The two separate projects are still nice, just not quite as exciting as a park/pump track directly over the highway.
If you want to be a part of the new Eichler track sign up to help at nw-trail.org