Tualatin City Council votes to accept improvements, place under city's care.

TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - A bicyclist rides through the entrance to the new segment of the Tualatin River Greenway Trail at Southwest Barngrover Way.The public has been using it for some time now, but as of Tuesday, it's official: The new segment of the Tualatin River Greenway Trail in between the Tualatin Public Library and the former RV Park of Portland is open.

The Tualatin City Council voted unanimously Monday night to accept the “public improvements” on the trail site and place the ¾-mile pathway, which crosses beneath Interstate 5 and includes access to apartments and shopping centers along its route, under city maintenance and warranty.

Even before the trail officially opened, the contractor hired to build it out, Brown Contracting, Inc., was generally tolerant of the public using it, according to Paul Hennon, Tualatin's community services director.

Councilor Frank Bubenik said his neighbors have already been enjoying the trail and he has received “very positive feedback already.”

A grand opening will be held from 1 to 1:30 p.m. April 9, at the trailhead at Southwest Barngrover Way. City Manager Sherilyn Lombos said the event will include a ceremonial blessing by the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde. There will also be an inaugural 5k run and walk to celebrate the trail opening that morning, Hennon said. (The Times is a sponsor of the “5K Trail Trekker,” which will begin at 8 a.m. and is open to all ages for a $35 entry fee.)

The final construction contract amount for the project, which was largely funded by grants and donations, came out to almost $3.22 million, according to an agenda for Monday's council meeting.

Construction started last year, with the goal of having the new trail segment open to the public over the winter. Hennon said last week the project is actually a little bit ahead of schedule.

Work on the trail is just about complete. But the trail segment has not yet made its final planned connection to another section of the Tualatin River Greenway Trail that accesses Browns Ferry Park, on the other side of the RV Park of Portland property. A lengthy stretch of elevated boardwalk dead-ends at the property line, just north of the Forest Rim Apartments.

“I last reported to you that I thought we'd be able to have a temporary crossing of the RV site, but that did not materialize due to business reasons with the property-owner,” Hennon told the council. “That trail will be built across that property when he redevelops that site.”

Mayor Lou Ogden said he is glad to hear that the RV property's owners are moving toward redeveloping it. He said that while he is “very disappointed” not to have that final connection yet, he understands the difficulty in providing a crossing while in the midst of securing permits for development.

The RV site is zoned for multifamily housing. A representative of its ownership group told The Times last week that a neighborhood meeting will be held to share more details about the planned redevelopment in the coming weeks.

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