by: PEGGY SAVAGE - Volunteers man their shovels during the Bear Creek Byway groundbreaking ceremony Saturday.A large group formed near what will become the bridge across Bear Creek Saturday to break ground for the Bear Creek Byway.

As of June, the bridge project had found most of its funding from donations, in-kind contributions, an $8,000 HEAL grant and then Saturday, a check for $8,000 from Clackamas County Transportation Department.

Pat Eaton, a community member who plans to use the byway was one of many who attended the celebration.

“I live on Toliver, and I think how nice it will be to walk over to have coffee at Cest La Vie or go to the shops and Safeway,” Eaton said. “It will be a place for people walking dogs or riding bikes.”

by: PEGGY SAVAGE - Patty McMullen of Clackamas County Transportation, center, presents an $8,000 check to Angel Patton, left and Craig Loughridge,Mayor Debbie Rogge was there representing the city of Molalla, along with people from GROW Healthy Kids, Superintendent Tony Mann from the school district, representatives from Clackamas County and the many volunteers who have been working on the project for the past year.

One of the project supporters, Mitch Jorgenson, talked about plans for building the bridge. He has donated materials and service for the job.

Lynn Blatter, with Molalla Communities That Care, wrote a grant application that brought in money for the project. She was on hand to participate in the ground breaking.

Craig Loughridge, one of the forces behind the project, gave a short talk at the event. He said the asphalt path will reach from Industrial Way, just off Toliver, to the parking lot near Safeway.

“This will be a lot safer for folks. I’m sure you’ve noticed people in wheel chairs and on bikes and pedestrians who now have to go along Highway 213, which is incredibly dangerous,” he said. “We’ve had great help from the county and public health and PSU and all sorts of wonderful support for this project. GROW hooked us up with a professor at PSU and he offered him and his students to engineer the project free of charge.”

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