Albany city officials have an idea for an improved walking and biking trail along the south side of the Willamette River. The “multi-use path” would follow the route of an existing dirt track that links Bowman and Simpson parks.
The parks and public works departments are asking the city council to authorize an application for a state grant for the path’s construction under ODOTs community parks program. The request is on the agenda of the city council meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 28, the last council session of the year.
The city estimates the cost at $3.4 million. If the grant is approved, it will require a city contribution of a little more than $353,000.
It’s about half a mile from where the existing trail starts at Bowman Park to where it emerges at Simpson Park, across the parking lot from Talking Water Gardens. Along the way the trail crosses Periwinkle Creek on a low concrete bridge containing two culverts.
At Bowman, the trail passes the lower parking lot of The Banks, an apartment complex. The apartment developers are obliged to improve the trail for about 200 feet along their property. The city project would do the rest.
In a memo to the council, the staff wrote, “The project would border and serve an older established neighborhood, [and] complete a gap in an existing riverfront trail system that connects downtown Albany with several regional parks as well as commercial and employment opportunities near WinCo and Costco… .”
To reach the commercial area, users of the path would continue on the Cox Creek Path, cross Salem Avenue to Waverly Park, go around the lake, duck through the underpass, and come out on the other side of Pacific Boulevard.
The city already owns the land for the path or has an easement along the route.
Money for the required local contribution would come from street and park system development fees assessed on new construction, and the staff said there’s enough money on hand. (hh)