Port, partners and community open new section of bicycle/pedestrian pathway

The almost half-mile section of landscaped, asphalt path connects existing sections of trail along State Route 501/Northwest Lower River Road

VANCOUVER — A crowd of bicyclists, state and local partners, walkers and Port of Vancouver USA staff converged on a spot along Northwest Lower River Road today to cut the ribbon on a new section of bicycle/pedestrian pathway and celebrate improved connectivity for the community.

The almost half-mile section of landscaped, asphalt path connects existing sections of trail along State Route 501/Northwest Lower River Road between the port’s administrative offices and Farwest Steel to the west.  It’s one section of an overall path that, when fully complete, will extend 4.5 miles along SR 501.

“We’re very excited to be opening another segment of trail today,” said port commission Vice President Don Orange. “It’s important the community have safe access not only to the jobs and industry here at the port, but also the great recreational areas along Lower River Road.” After remarks and ribbon cutting, Commissioner Orange, a recreational cyclist, led a contingent on his bike down the new section of pathway.  Joining Commissioner Orange in delivering remarks at the event were Vancouver Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle and Matt Ransom, executive director of the Southwest Washington Regional Transportation Council (RTC).

The port’s multi-use path is being completed in segments to address funding opportunities and the unique design needs specific to each segment.  Total project cost for this section of the bike/pedestrian pathway is nearly $1 million and was a joint project between the port and the Southwest Washington Regional Transportation Council.  The project received $500,000 in federal transportation funds through the Transportation Alternatives Program administered locally through the RTC. 

General contractor for the .42 mile segment is Keystone Contracting Inc.   Planning and design of the asphalt pathway was provided by BergerABAM with geotechnical services provided by  Geotechnical Resources, Inc. The project includes a unique elevated boardwalk over a wetland area that was designed by Western Wood Structures, Inc. and constructed by Michael’s Custom Woodworking.  The boardwalk itself is composed of Fibergrate, a molded fiberglass slip resistant grate considered a “bike approved surface.” Concrete work was provided by Daybreak Construction, a certified Women Business Enterprise.  Native seed mix producing beautiful floral landscaping was provided by Pro Time Lawn Seed, a certified Women Business Enterprise and Emerging Small Business.

Other subcontractors working on the project include CSI Construction, Brundage-Bone Concrete Pumping, AKS Engineering, Jones Aggregates, Inc., Tapani Electric and CalPortland.  

The new segment of pathway is part of a countywide trail system that will eventually connect Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge in Washougal to the Columbia River Renaissance Trail and to Frenchman’s Bar Regional Park in Vancouver.  The port is responsible for the final two additional miles of pathway, from Farwest Steel to the Vancouver Lake flushing channel. The final two miles will connect to an already-existing segment that extends to Frechman’s Bar. 

Information provided by Port of Vancouver USA.

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