City to construct path to protect students
A dangerous stretch of road in Gresham that had two youths hit and killed this past winter is receiving a temporary safety solution.
Gresham City Council approved plans Tuesday, May 19, to construct an asphalt path along Southeast Hogan Road, replacing what had been a grassy ditch. The path, from Southeast Sixth to Southeast Ninth, should improve conditions for pedestrians and the many children who walk along Hogan to Dexter McCarty Middle School.
Eventually, the city wants to construct a permanent sidewalk, but funding must first be found for what would be a multi-million dollar upgrade. The asphalt path is expected to cost just $100,000 to implement.
"We don't have the resources internally to put the millions and millions of dollars it takes to get these projects in," said Steve Fancher, director of environmental services and city operations.
The asphalt path will be ADA accessible, and width-wise, will be similar in most places to a sidewalk. During the meeting, Gresham Mayor Shane Bemis reiterated the importance of securing funding and getting better solutions in place.
The community mourned two tragic deaths at the beginning of this year along Hogan Drive. An 11-year-old boy was struck and killed by an allegedly impaired driver while walking to school on his first day back from winter break.
The crash occurred at the intersection of Hogan and Fifth, where the victim, Luis Medina, was crossing in a marked intersection. Police said 26-year-old Garrett Bergquist sped through a red light and struck the boy, who died at the scene.
One month prior, a 17-year-old boy was hit and killed while riding his bicycle a block away from where Medina died. Jayden Auberry, of Portland, was hit by Daniel Keller, also of Portland. Keller remained at the scene and cooperated with police.
The city said the plan is to have the path finished by the time students return to school this fall.
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