The Oregon Transportation Commission has awarded the Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District a $400,000 grant to help pay for one of the final links in a trail system that will ultimately extend 10 miles through the heart of greater Beaverton.
The grant was one of 39 recently announced by the state. Funds will be provided through the ConnectOregon program, which was first approved by the Oregon Legislature in 2005.
THPRD will build a 350-foot trail segment that crosses Willow Creek just south of the Sunset Highway near the Cornell Road and Bethany Boulevard intersection. The segment will complete the district’s Waterhouse Trail, which extends from the MAX light-rail station at Merlo Road and 158th Avenue to Springville Road and north Bethany.
Total cost of the project – which is scheduled to be started and completed in 2018 – is $1 million. Washington County has committed $300,000 from its Major Street Transportation Improvement Program and THPRD will contribute the remaining $300,000 from its system development charges fund.
As part of its 2008 voter-approved bond measure, the park district has steadily expanded the Waterhouse Trail. The new segment will provide direct access to a local street, the Bethany Boulevard/Cornell intersection, and the Bethany Boulevard crossing of the Sunset Highway.
“This will give our trail users a route that is safer, more efficient and more understandable,” said Doug Menke, THPRD general manager.
THPRD is already working on a bond-related project near the Tualatin Hills Nature Park to connect the Westside Trail to the Waterhouse Trail. It began earlier this year and will be completed later this fall.
That project and the Willow Creek crossing are the final links in a mostly continuous, 10-mile trail backbone extending southward from the PCC Rock Creek area to Barrows Road and the Progress Ridge Town Center area (south of Scholls Ferry Road). The backbone will encompass the Waterhouse Trail and the Westside Trail within THPRD’s service territory.
“We’ve had this dream for our residents for many, many years,” Menke said. “We’re excited that we now have all the pieces in place to make it happen.”
Trails are one of THPRD’s most popular amenities. The Waterhouse Trail averages 80,000-100,000 users per year based on electronic trail counters and volunteer observations. When the Willow Creek crossing is completed, the district expects trail counts to double.
THPRD is the largest special park district in Oregon, spanning about 50 square miles and serving 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, more than 90 park sites with active recreational amenities, 60 miles of trails, eight swim centers, six recreation centers, and 1,400 acres of natural areas. For more information, visit www.thprd.org or call 503-645-6433.
Director – Communications
|Date: September 13, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Click here for official release (PDF).