Lake Oswego's portion of Willamette River Greenway Trail nears completion
A roughly 80-mile long vision might still seem like just that — a vision — but Lake Oswego's portion of the Willamette River Greenway Trail is nearing completion.
The trail is a series of multi-use paths in Lake Oswego, Sellwood, West Linn and Portland, with a vision that one day they will all be connected.
"The Willamette River Greenway Trail follows the east and west banks of the Willamette River from Champoeg State Park to the river's confluence with the Columbia in North Portland," according to Metro's Regional Trails and Greenways brochure. "Major built segments include trails at Willamette Park and Mary S. Young State Park in West Linn, George Rogers Park and Foothills Park in Lake Oswego and Tom McCall Waterfront Park and the Vera Katz Eastbank Esplanade in Portland. Portland has plans to complete the North Portland Willamette Greenway Trail, and someday a world-class trail will follow the Willamette Shore Trolley Line from Lake Oswego to John's Landing."
Lake Oswego Parks Director Ivan Anderholm said the Willamette River Greenway Trail has been identified as a regional trail connection by both Metro and the city of Lake Oswego for quite some time.
"It was adopted as part of our trail and pathway plan in the early 2000s," said Anderholm, adding that as far as Lake Oswego is concerned, the pedestrian and bike pathway connects Foothills Park to George Rogers Park and down to Old River Road and Mary S. Young Park in West Linn. "Eventually the project will connect to the Terwilliger pedestrian/bike pathway that goes up toward Lewis and Clark and potentially to the north all the way up to (the) Sellwood Bridge and south waterfront."
The Roehr City Park path was reconstructed and finished in November. The path had root damage and the narrow bridges over the creek needed to be improved. The bridges were replaced with culverts and a wider foot bridge was placed over a section of the creek.
"(It's) a really good example of what the trail will look like when it's finished," Anderholm said.
The pathway is paved from Foothills through Roehr Park down along the Willamette River. To connect the trail to George Rogers Park, Anderholm said they've acquired the easements needed to build the trail, except for two private properties along the route.
During the Dec. 15 Lake Oswego City Council meeting, councilors approved a modification of the alignment of the easement as well as a resolution of necessity, which would allow the city to proceed with the steps to acquire the two easements by eminent domain — the right of the government to take ownership of a private property and convert it to a public use, so long as "just compensation" is awarded to the owner — if necessary.
"The city is currently in communication with the last two property owners," Anderholm said. "It is done (the Lake Oswego portion of the trail) with the exception of the connection to Terwilliger and the connection to the north. Those two connections have not been fully studied, analyzed or figured out how that's going to happen."
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