With several new developments in 2011, the North Portland Greenway project is gaining speed. Thanks to funding from the Oregon Transportation Enhancement Program, Portland Parks & Recreation and The Bureau of Environmental Services, construction will begin this summer on the long-awaited trail connection between Willamette Blvd and Swan Island - at Waud Bluff. Soon, a paved trail route will replace what is now a dirt path. In addition, a bridge and staircase will be built to bring trail users over the Union Pacific railroad tracks, making it much safer to walk or bike to Swan Island businesses, the Willamette Greenway trail, and McCarthy Park. This trail will provide a key neighborhood connection to the future North Portland Greenway trail.
In even bigger news, the NP Greenway project has reached a huge milestone by entering the alignment study phase. Beginning this summer and to be completed in 2013, the study will create the on-the-ground vision for implementing each section of the trail. After the alignment of the greenway is determined, funding can be applied to begin implementing key sections of the trail. Once built, this greenway will connect pieces of existing trails with new ones, linking North Portland neighborhoods with the Willamette River trail system for recreation and access to jobs. The full extent of the proposed greenway will envelop the north riverfront from the Steel Bridge in downtown Portland to Cathedral Park near the St. Johns Bridge and extending through Baltimore Woods to Kelley Point Park.