Metro survey that seeks input on a variety of trail connections closes on Nov. 20

PHOTO COURTESY OF METRO - Option 1 includes a traffic signal and a Highway 43 crossing near Stampher Road.Lake Oswego residents got a chance to provide input last week on a variety of options for connecting the Terwilliger Trail in Tryon Cove State Park to Foothills Park at an Open House hosted by Metro at Lake Oswego City Hall.

The completed trail would be between one and two miles long and accommodate cyclists and walkers, regardless of the option that's finally selected. A key element of the plan would be a bridge over Tryon Creek that will go through publicly-owned land or rights-of-way owned by Metro and the cities of Portland and Lake Oswego at Tryon Cove Park.

Residents heard four options for the proposed connection:

-- The first would create a new traffic signal and crossing for Highway 43 near Stampher Road;

-- The second option would build a new tunnel underneath Highway 43 and the railroad tracks nearby, popping out near Tryon Cove Park and connecting to the proposed new trail;

PHOTO COURTESY OF METRO - Option 2 includes a tunnel beneath Highway 43 and the railroad tracks, connecting Terwilliger Trail to Tryon Cove Park. -- The third option includes a pedestrian-activated crossing just south of Terwilliger Boulevard and Stampher Road near E Avenue, connecting to the trail with a series of graded switchbacks; and

-- The fourth option would reroute the trail along Highway 43 to cross the road at B Avenue, using existing traffic infrastructure to connect to Foothills Park.

One of the biggest questions on the minds of residents at the Open House was cost. According to Metro, the project will be split into three phases:

-- The construction of the bridge over Tryon Creek and the connection to Foothills Park ($1.3 million);

-- The construction of multi-use and nature pathways within Tryon Cove Park ($500,000); and

-- Either the installation of the full-signal crossing of Highway 43 ($6.4 million) or the tunnel underneath the highway ($11.4 million).

In total, the project would cost between $8.2 million and $13.2 million, Metro officials said.

Metro also offered an option that would construct a 500-foot bridge from Tryon Creek State Park over Highway 43 and Stampher Road, but the visual and functional impact to Tryon Cove Park — as well as the number of switchbacks it would take to meet ADA pedestrian slope requirements and still provide access down to the park — make it a less attractive option, officials said.

In any form, they added, the project would also require significant improvements to Highway 43, Stampher Road and the small parking lot that currently sits along Stampher Road at the top of Tryon Cove Park.

Metro representative Erich Pacheco reminded attendees that an online survey regarding the various options is open until Nov. 20; input will be considered as Metro moves toward making a decision on the project, he said.

The survey can be found at or by visiting Metro's website:

Building a bridge

The move to connect Tryon Creek State Park, Tryon Cove Park and Foothills Park comes as Metro and Clackamas County work on a feasibility study for a potential bike and pedestrian bridge that would cross the Willamette River between Lake Oswego and Oak Grove.

The feasibility study is funded by $306,000 in grant funds provided under an intergovernmental agreement between Metro and the county. According to county planners, the largest task is identifying and evaluating a set of possible alignments for the bridge, looking at an area between Milwaukie and the former Marylhurst University campus. A preferred alignment would not be chosen until the end of an environmental review process — if the project were to advance to that stage.

County planners' preliminary figures estimate that a bike/pedestrian-only bridge would cost roughly $21.5 million to build. For comparison, the planned expansion of the I-205 bridge in Oregon City is expected to cost around $250 million.

The study, which is expected to take 6-9 months to complete, also seeks to develop a plan for cooperation between Metro, Clackamas County and local governments. Its cost includes $40,000 for outreach efforts to keep residents informed and to collect public feedback.

Contact Lake Oswego Review reporter Sam Stites at 503-479-2375

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