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Improvements coming to Memorial Park parking lot

Parking restricted until December


by: JOSH KULLA - The so-called alligator cracking shown here is affecting the paved surfaces throughout Wilsonville's Memorial Park. A $750,000 overhaul is planned to fix the problem. Memorial Park’s main parking lot is set to get a major overhaul this fall. Changes planned for the lot are designed to make it easier to drive in, maneuver and park, and safer to walk through. Construction is scheduled to begin this month and is expected to conclude by December.

During this time, no park-ing will be allowed in the main lot, but all other park facilities will remain open.

Parking lot problems

The old parking lot is showing severe signs of wear. Curbs are missing and pavement is cracked. The lot also lacks stormwater treatment facilities. Runoff goes directly into a tributary of Boeckman Creek on the north side of the parking lot and ultimately to the Willamette River.

The lot currently lacks sufficient nighttime lighting and marked pedestrian crossings. Today’s large-size passenger vehicles fit awkwardly in the small parking spaces and often stick out into the circulation lanes. The lanes are unevenly sized, making inefficient use of space that is in high demand during the summer recreation season and creating difficult and somewhat unsafe vehicle and pedestrian circulation.

The city’s construction contractor will reconfigure the parking lot and expand it slightly to the south. The new layout will include a circulation lane around the perimeter of the lot and rows of parking that are oriented from east to west. Medians between the rows will provide space for sidewalks, new and existing trees and vegetated rain gardens that will filter con-taminants from the lot’s stormwater runoff.

Areas will be designated for accessible parking, motorcycle parking, bicycle parking and a bus turnout to accommodate regular visits from school buses. New asphalt and concrete will replace deteriorating pave-ment and LED light fixtures will be added throughout the lot. The contractor will also install improved signage, and the city plans to add an informational kiosk in the future. Existing memorials will be relocated as part of the project.

The city and consultant Wallis Engineering devel-oped the parking-lot improvement plan earlier this year with input from the community. Preliminary de-signs were presented through an online open house on the city’s website, at a parks and recreation advisory committee meeting, at city council work sessions and at a development review board meeting.

Residents voiced strong support for the addition of sidewalks and landscaping and provided feedback that helped to refine design details. The parking stall dimensions, for example, were adjusted to a generous 9-by-18-foot size based on community members’ initial comments. The city also decided to not relocate the sanitary sewer pump station onto the parking lot after neighbors expressed concerns about its potential prox-imity to homes.

During construction

The city’s contractor will need to temporarily close the parking lot to make the improvements. To maintain vehicle access to the river shelter, one of the contractor’s first tasks will be to complete the roadway on the western edge of the parking lot that leads to this popular picnic area. Vehicle access to the shelter will be maintained until mid-October except during approved closure days.

Pedestrian ac-cess will be maintained throughout construction to the paths on the west side of the parking lot, including the connection to the Day Dream Ranch neighborhood.

All construction in the parking lot will occur during the daytime. While the contractor will be required to comply with the city’s noise control ordinance, heavy equipment noise should be expected. No work is planned for the weekends, though the contractor may occasionally be given permission to work on Satur-days if necessary to meet the schedule.

Landscaping

A verdant landscape designed by landscape archi-tecture and environmental design firm GreenWorks will complement the new park-ing lot layout. Grasses and shrubs will be planted along with nearly 30 new ash, Douglas fir, cedar and white-flowering snowcloud serviceberry trees. The groundcovers and shrubs will be primarily native species that are easy to maintain and will fit well with the adjacent natural forested areas of the park.

Vegetated rain gardens, consist-ing primarily of rushes, will be located throughout the parking lot. In the past, polluted stormwater that collected in the lot flowed directly into a tributary of Boeckman Creek. Stormwater from paved surfaces will now flow into the rain gardens, which will filter out contaminants.

One of the city’s goals for the new parking lot de-sign was to preserve groups of existing large conifers. An arborist surveyed the trees early in the planning process and identified several that had condition problems. These trees and several others will be removed to accommodate the improve-ments, while a number of the healthy conifers have been successfully incorporated into the new design. As the newly planted trees grow over time, the overall increase in the number of trees will keep the parking lot canopy green.

Where to park

No parking will be available in Memorial Park’s main parking lot during construction through December. Visitors may park in the Murase Plaza, “upper” area Memorial Park parking lot and take the path to facili-ties in the lower portion of Memorial Park. Park-ing will also be available in the gravel lots near the off-leash dog run, forest shelter and river shelter. The city will temporarily stripe parking stalls in these gravel lots to maximize capacity. Because parking will be limited, consider carpooling and, when feasible, biking or walking to the park.

For more information, contact Kerry Rappold, natural resources program manager, at 503-570-1570 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..




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