The Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District has begun construction on a small but significant connection in its popular trail system.
With funding from its voter-approved 2008 bond measure, THPRD is now working to link the Westside Trail to the Waterhouse Trail. The Westside Trail runs from the district’s southern boundary at Barrows Road north to the Tualatin Hills Nature Park. The Waterhouse Trail runs north of the Nature Park to the PCC Rock Creek area.
The project, which is scheduled for completion this fall, will connect the north end of the Westside Trail to the Waterhouse Trail on the west side of 158th Avenue and Merlo Road. The new segment will run along an abandoned rail line just south of the MAX light-rail line.
As part of the work, THPRD plans structural improvements to an existing trestle that was part of the old rail line (a portion of the new trail will cross the trestle). Other amenities will include safety upgrades at the MAX crossing on Merlo Road and a relocated and improved mid-block crossing on 158th Avenue.
The new segment will span only a half-mile, but it’s notable as one of the final links in a mostly continuous north-south THPRD trail backbone extending 10 miles from the PCC Rock Creek area to Barrows Road.
“We’ve spent the last several years using bond measure funds to fill in gaps in the Westside and Waterhouse Trails,” said Doug Menke, THPRD general manager. “Now we’re going to connect the two trails, and soon trail users will be able to recreate or commute for 10 miles mostly uninterrupted.”
Due to construction, the Westside Trail from SW Millikan Way north to the Nature Park has been temporarily closed for the duration of the project. Signage has been posted to alert trail users.
Alternate pedestrian and bicycle access between Merlo and Millikan is available via the Oak Trail within the Nature Park. Pets are not allowed in the Nature Park.
Trails are one of THPRD’s most popular amenities. The Westside Trail draws 120,000 users per year and the Waterhouse Trail attracts more than 80,000.
In June, THPRD will begin a project to further expand the Westside Trail. The project, which is scheduled for completion in December, will provide the following improvements:
- One mile of new trail and boardwalks within the powerline corridor (south of NW Springville Road and east of NW Kaiser Road)
- A link between the Rock Creek Regional Trail and NW Kaiser Road.
- A connection from THPRD’s Hansen Ridge Park (Bethany area) to the Westside Trail.
Formed in 1955, THPRD is the largest special park district in Oregon, spanning 50 square miles and serving about 240,000 residents in the greater Beaverton area. The district provides year-round recreational opportunities for people of all ages and abilities. Offerings include thousands of widely diverse classes, 95 park sites with active recreational amenities, nearly 70 miles of trails, eight swim centers, six recreation centers, and about 1,500 acres of natural areas. For more information, visit www.thprd.org or call 503-645-6433