Join cycling event along Gresham trails; Sign-up for Play Grow Learn camps; Juvenile salamanders in local ponds

COURTESY PHOTO: MULTNOMAH COUNTY - Latourell Road Bridge is being replaced over the next five months.

Latourell Road bridge to close for several months

A bridge in the Columbia River Gorge is closed for several months as crews begin the initial stages of replaced the deteriorated, wooden structure.

On Friday, June 17, the Northeast Latourell Road bridge was blocked to cars and pedestrians. This week the contractor has been cutting trees to provide clearance for construction of the new bridge.

The project will take about five months to complete. Closure signs are posted, and there is no through access for the duration. Access for neighbors adjacent to the bridge will be from the Historic Columbia River Highway on either side of the bridge.

Granite Construction Co. was awarded the contract. The project cost is $2.7 million. Multnomah County is providing about $900,000 of the funds, with the remainder coming from the Oregon Department of Transportation.

For more information and to sign up for updates, visit

Cycle through Gresham

The community is invited to join a group bike ride along local trails and through city parks.

The 6-mile, all-ages bike ride begins 11 a.m. Saturday, June 25, at the Coho picnic shelter in Main City Park, 219 S. Main Ave. The ride includes a break at the Rockwood Market Hall, and will conclude at the park by 12:30 p.m.

The event is co-hosted by bikeworks by p:ear, the city of Gresham, and Multnomah County's Office of Sustainability. It only includes mild inclines, and is suitable for all levels of riders. Cyclists under 18 years old must be accompanied on the ride by a parent or guardian.

Register at

Play Grow Learn brings summer of fun

Local youths should be ready to lace-up those baseball, softball, basketball, soccer, football, dance and hiking shoes for a summer of fun hosted by a local nonprofit organization.

Play Grow Learn has a busy slate of free, week-long camps for ages kids 5-16 that will keep them active and engaged before returning to school next fall. All the camps run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday-Friday, and require advanced registration to participate.

The camps are held at Nadaka Nature Park, Vance Park and Pat Pfeiffer Park, and kids who join need parental signature and an emergency contact. Sign-up at one of several registration stations — 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday at the Sunrise Center, 18901 E. Burnside Street; 1-7 p.m. Sundays at The Peoples Market, 485 S.E. 185th Ave.

For more information contact Anthony Bradley at 971-371-2972, Germaine Flentroy at 503-719-1821, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The camps include:

- Baseball & Softball Camp, June 27-July 1

- Basketball Camp, July 11-15

- Soccer Camp, July 18-22

- Flag Football & Dance Camp, July 25-29

- Baseball & Softball Camp, Aug. 1-5

- Nature & Fitness Camp, Aug. 8-12

- Baseball Tournament Camp, Aug. 15-19

- Radical Self Care & Back to School Preparation, Aug. 22-26

COURTESY PHOTO: CAROL ZYVATKAUSKAS - A young Northwestern salamander in a Gresham pond.

Juvenile salamanders cruise Gresham ponds

Young salamanders in the juvenile stage of metamorphosis are cruising through Gresham ponds in front-wheel drive.

Northwestern salamanders have various life cycles, first hatching from egg clutches left in the water as larvae. In the current juvenile stage, the salamanders have external gills for breathing underwater, a broad tail to help with swimming, and their front legs. That is one of the key differences between salamanders and frogs — as the later develop back legs first.

At this stage the salamanders are still small, 16-105 millimeters, but they are busy chomping on mosquito larvae in the ponds. Eventually they will grow to be about 8.7 inches in length.

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