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  • 21 Oct 2014

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Proposed trail could cost $30 million or more

The City Council will consider approving a plan to build a trail from downtown to North Portland on Wednesday.

The proposed North Portland Greenway Trail could cost $30 million of more. There is no money currently available for it, however, or any schedule for when it will be funded.

The measure before the council only calls on Portland Parks & Recreation to apply for grants and seek other opportunities to fund the project.

The proposed alignment of the trail is mostly along the Willamette River. It was originally included in the North Reach portion of the River Plan, which was approved by the council several years ago. That plan was challenged before the Land Use Board of Appeals by a coalition of businesses in the Portland Harbor. LUBA sent it back to the city for more work, which has yet to be completed.

Despite that, the resolution says the council continues to support the trail and wants the city to work towards completing it. PP&R has been meeting with pedestrian advocates, neighborhood associations, local businesses and other to determine a buildable alignment.

The plan before the council proposes a trail from the Eastbank Esplanade along the east bank of the Willamette River to Kelly Point Park at the confluence of the Columbia and Willamette River. Many questions remain unresolved, including where and how the trail will navigate adjacent wetlands and industrial properties.

A portion of the proposed alignment runs through railroad property in the Albina Yard and Ward Bluff. The Union Pacific railroad has agreed to work with the city and other parties on the portion that would run through its property, but is concerned that it must cross its rail lines. UP also wants to be reimbursed for all of its work on the project.

Other agencies involved in the project include the Portland Bureau of Transportation, Metro and the Oregon Department of Transportation.