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Posted 6/28/2018

Release no. 18-035

Sarah P. Bennett
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers


Diane Dulken
Portland Bureau of Environmental Services

REMINDER: The Springwater Corridor will close at Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge before the morning commute Monday, July 9. The trail will remain closed through October 31 for a major restoration project benefiting salmon and other wildlife. This is a hard closure: all hours, all days. Alternate routes are available at www.portland.gov/bes/oaksbottom.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is the lead agency on construction, working with project partners at the City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services and Portland Parks & Recreation.  

Original traffic advisory below: 

Posted June 28, 2018 -- While major construction on a restoration project at Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge will start as scheduled on July 1, project partners are keeping the Springwater Corridor trail open another week to accommodate the busy Fourth of July holiday and Waterfront Blues Festival weekend. 

The Springwater Corridor trail closure will now begin July 9 and continue as planned through October 31.

“I’m pleased that through creative scheduling, project partners are keeping the project moving forward on time and keeping the trail open an extra week for holiday festivities and one of Portland’s signature summer events,” said Mike Jordan, Environmental Services director.  “A big reason for the flexibility in scheduling is that the contractor has already begun moving materials and equipment into the site before the construction start date. That early mobilization keeps the project moving and the trail open.”

Travelers are advised that between July 9 and October 31:

  • The Springwater Corridor trail will be open to the wildlife refuge but closed as a through route.
  • Alternate routes include (see map):
  1. Westside option: The new Sellwood Bridge provides a connection to the newly paved Willamette Greenway Trail – a good option for commuters traveling to South Waterfront and downtown. Please note that the Greenway is popular with pedestrians. People on bicycles are advised to adjust their speed and expectations of travel time.
  2. Eastside option: The SE 19th Avenue Neighborhood Greenway connects to the SE 17th Avenue bike lane on the east side. This is a route that has been newly improved by the Portland Bureau of Transportation.
  • In addition to those routes, many other options exist in the city’s extensive bicycle network.
  • Walking trails will remain open within the wildlife refuge. Bicycles are not allowed on unpaved trails.
  • Access to the Oaks Amusement Park and Oregon Yacht Club will be maintained from the south throughout the project. 
  • As with all construction projects, the traveling public is advised to adjust expectations about travel times and travel cautiously and considerately.

The Oaks Bottom restoration project is a collaborative effort between the City of Portland’s Bureau of Environmental Services, Portland Parks & Recreation, and the United States Army Corps of Engineers, which has provided a portion of the funding and will manage construction.  The project is taking place during the summer “in water work window,” as required by state law, to minimize impacts to salmon.

Crews will replace a small pipe culvert under the trail that blocks salmon passage into the refuge and install a large open bottom concrete culvert to improve salmon access and water flow between the refuge and Willamette River.

To protect and preserve the condition of the Springwater Corridor, heavy construction equipment and materials will be transported to the site by barge and along the railroad tracks.  Crews will cut through the berm that holds the Springwater Corridor trail and adjacent railroad track, install the culvert, backfill the berm, and then replace the trail. Crews also will deepen channels to improve water flow for all resident wildlife, including bats, frogs, reptiles and the 175 species of birds that use the protected area. In spring, project partners will plant thousands of native trees and shrubs.  A new overlook and a viewing platform will also be built as part of the project.

To sign up for email updates, email Sarah Bennett, Sarah.P.Bennett@usace.army.mil, with “Oaks Bottom” in the subject line.