oaks bottom wildlife refuge

Tram opens ahead of schedule on Monday as Springwater closure begins

Avatar by on July 6th, 2018 at 1:37 pm

Good news for those of you who rely on the Portland Aerial Tram to get from the South Waterfront up to Marquam Hill: It will re-open on July 9th — that’s 21 days ahead of schedule.

The Tram announced the change of plans today:

“Members of the repair team worked 20 hours a day in two shifts, employed innovative repair techniques and also enjoyed the benefit of excellent weather. This combination of factors led to the scheduled track rope maintenance work being completed in 16 days instead of the originally scheduled five weeks.”

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“It’s going to be uncomfortable” City staffer says about upcoming Springwater path closure

Avatar by on April 11th, 2018 at 2:42 pm

BES staffer Ronda Fast at Bike Advisory Committee meeting last night.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

UPDATE, 6/27: The start date of the closure has been pushed back to July 9th so the path will be open for the busy 4th of July and Waterfront Blues Festival Weekend.

“It’s going to be uncomfortable. We know that. No option will be as good as the Springwater. We know that. But it’s temporary, and at least we have options now.”

That’s how Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) Program Coordinator Ronda Fast described the upcoming four-month closure of the Springwater Corridor path that will impact many Portlanders this summer. Fast was at the BAC meeting to explain how BES will handle the diversion of thousands of daily bicycling trips that currently use the Springwater to get between Sellwood and downtown Portland.

The meeting came just a few days after we reported that BES rejected a detour proposal by the Sellwood Moreland Improvement League (SMILE, the neighborhood association). The disagreement stems from how best to handle thousands of bike trips per day that will be forced off the Springwater and onto other routes due to a major project to salmon habitat at Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge. BES wants to direct people either to the west side of the Willamette River (on a circuitous, narrow and poorly maintained greenway path), or onto the SE 19th Avenue Neighborhood Greenway — which is 10 blocks east of the Springwater. The neighborhood proposed what they feel is a more direct and safer route on 14th/15th and SE Milwaukie — where they asked for temporary bike lanes in space currently used for on-street auto parking.

BES says the neighborhood’s proposal is not feasible and is “out of scope” for the project.
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City rejects request for more direct bike detour during Springwater path closure

Avatar by on April 9th, 2018 at 1:27 pm

This section of SE Milwaukie near McLoughlin is high-stress for bicycle riders. There’s room for bike lanes — but only if the car parking is prohibited.

The Portland Bureau of Environmental Service (BES) has already broken ground on a major project to enhance the habitat of the Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge. It’s an exciting project for fish who swim in the Willamette; but for humans who ride bicycles it comes with a relatively high cost of convenience.
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Oaks Bottom project will close Springwater path for four months this summer

Avatar by on January 9th, 2018 at 3:24 pm

(Map graphic: Portland BES)

A major project to improve wildlife habitat at the Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge will come with a full closure of one the busiest biking corridors in Portland.

Starting this July, the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services (BES), Portland Parks and Recreation and the U.S Army Corps of Engineers, plans to close the Springwater Corridor path between Oaks Amusement Park and the Oaks Bottom Trail for up to 120 days. Contractors will use the path to stage construction vehicles and move material.

When this same project was first proposed back in 2010 (it was ultimately delayed), it raised major concerns with the City’s Bicycle Advisory Committee. Members of that committee urged BES to use the adjacent railroad right-of-way in order to keep the path open. This time around, the City and the Corps of Engineers incorporated feedback from the community and designed a plan that incorporates barge access and/or rail as a primary haul route. However, the Springwater closure is still necessary to safely complete the culvert and channel grading work in the refuge.

The latest City bike counts show that about 2,800 people ride this section of the path on an average weekday and that number more than doubles on the weekends. The closure is on the same section of path we recently highlighted as one of the top ten most popular Strava segments in the country.
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