The latest addition to Albany's network of off-street paths is open. It's the 600-foot link underneath the Pacific Boulevard viaduct between Albany Station and the open-air pool at Swanson Park.
After a year's delay because of a paperwork oversight, construction started this spring under a $383,692 ODOT contract with HP Civil Inc. of Dallas, Texas, and Salem. The target date for completion was September.
But on Monday I rode along the completed path, which required new retaining walls because it's cut into the embankment holding up the highway above. I'm no expert, but it looks like an extremely well done job.
The word at City Hall was that despite some change orders the job was done within the contract amount. The city's project manager, Chris Cerklewski, sent word that all work was complete except for the installation of lighting, which is awaiting the delivery of the poles.
This path was part of the original design of the multimillion-dollar renovation of Albany Station as a transportation hub, done about 10 years ago. I'm hoping it will prove useful for people including kids from outlying parts of town who take the bus to Albany Station and can now easily reach the pool from there. (hh)