Even though we’re still several years away from major trail construction, there’s plenty of work to do to get ready: trail segment planning, engineering assessments, hazardous material surveys, public involvement, marketing plans, economic and health benefit studies, permitting, and what feels like a million other things to think about and prepare for.
Portland television stations have been taking note of the proposed Salmonberry Trail this summer. Check out these two stories, the first by Kaitlyn Bolduc at KPTV Channel 12 shot in June 2017, and the second by Chris Liedle at KATU Channel 2 broadcast in August. We appreciated that in both cases, the reporters reminded viewers that the trail doesn’t exist yet and that entry into the area is dangerous and prohibited.
Three years of inventory and analysis are coming to a close for the environmental/planning contractor hired by Tillamook County examining possible hazardous material sites along 62 miles of the Port of Tillamook Bay (POTB) railroad that could eventually become part of the proposed Salmonberry Trail. The assessment work, funded by a three-year Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ‚Äúbrownfields‚Äù grant, has involved a comprehensive corridor study, site inventory and ranking for approximately 30 individual sites, and four on-site investigations involving soil and groundwater testing.
Salmonberry Trail project followers will know that our planning energy this summer and fall is focused on the “Valley Segment,” which stretches from the western Washington County town of Banks to just past the Reehers Camp area in the Tillamook State Forest. The goal of the segment planning work is to begin developing alignment and pre-engineering details that can feed the final design and construction process.
Viewers in the Portland area were treated to an inside look at the Salmonberry Trail project by KPTV Channel 12. The story, which aired on July 18, 2017, describes the great potential and the planning associated with Oregon's most ambitious rail-trail project. It also provides an important reminder the trail doesn't exist yet and is not safe or open to public access. Here's a link to the story.
Storm waters barreling down this tributary of the Salmonberry River took out the trestle leaving the track and parts of the bridge structure dangling in mid-air. This view is upstream from Belding.
The 2007 storm damaged bridges, tunnels and other infrastructure along the line. This view is upstream from Belding and shows just how dangerous the area is with shifting wood and rock.
Construction of the Pacific Railway and Navigation Line took six years (1905-1911) and included 13 tunnels and 60 bridges, 35 of which were more than 100 feet long. The original wood trestle bridges were replaced with steel like this one in the mid 1920s. During the flood, high water washed around this steel bridge and its concrete abutments threatening to leave it disconnected from the main line.
FOREST GROVE, OR—Oregon’s proposed Salmonberry Trail—connecting the Portland metro area and the Oregon Coast with an 86-mile long multiple-use trail—took a major step forward this week when it received national attention and funding from the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC), the nation's largest trails organization dedicated to connecting people and communities by creating a nationwide network of public trails. RTC awarded the Salmonberry Trail project $30,000 to fund an economic and health benefit study to gauge future contributions of the trail to surrounding communities.
These ties and rails used to cross a small bridge at Kinney Creek, but were left hanging in mid-air when the Big Flood of 2007 washed through the canyon. Fiber optic cables running parallel to the track, which can be seen to the left, were also disturbed by high waters. This area is unsafe.
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