Yes, the long-awaited access for paddlers on the Luckiamute River is scheduled to be built this fall. I wrote about this a few days ago, and as expected, this morning I heard via email from Bryan Nielsen, the manager for the Willamette Mission Management Unit of the state parks system.
“The project is still on track for completion this year,” Nielsen wrote from his office in Gervais. ” If you recall we wanted to get the project completed sooner, but were not able to get all the permits in time, and when they finally arrived last summer we had missed the construction window and getting the contractor on board in time.”
Now, he says, all the permits for the project are in hand. “The design is finalized and due to go out to bid in early July. The construction window is September and October; this is a condition of the permits. While it may not do much good this year we will have a great facility for next year.”
Apparently there will be a dock. Nielsen describes it as “very minimal and simple” and adds, “We had to use a modular system (EZ-dock) to design it as it will need to be removed and installed each year when water conditions are right. We are emphasizing kayak and canoe use, and therefore it will be catered to those users.”
The access point is part of the Luckiamute State Natural Area, which is in two parts and straddles the Benton-Polk county line. As I mentioned before, the land improvements — a driveway from Buena Vista Road, a parking area and a restroom — were built last year. All that’s left is the actual access to the little river down its steep bank.
Paddlers around here are eager to try out this facility when it’s done. (hh)