A longtime 'missing link' in the popular Fanno Creek Regional Trail system was recently completed and is now open to bicyclists, joggers and walkers.
The Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation District finished the half-mile segment this week. It extends from the intersection of Scholls Ferry Road and Allen Blvd to the end of 105th Court near the intersection of Denney Road and Highway 217.
Funded by system development charges, the $1.6 million project means users will be able to travel 4.5 miles of largely continuous, paved trail between the district's Garden Home Recreation Center and Tigard's Englewood Park near Scholls Ferry Road.
The 10-foot-wide-trail addition features 11 boardwalks over wetland areas that provide opportunities to spot birds and other wildlife, including deer. In addition, thousands of native plants and shrubs will be planted along the restored stream corridor.
'The Fanno Creek Trail is already very popular, and we expect it to be even more popular now that this new segment is finished,' said Hal Bergsma, the park district's director of planning. 'Until now, when trail users came to the missing link, they had to figure out on their own how to reconnect with the trail. Now, their path is mostly uninterrupted.''
Electronic sensors show 70,000 to 80,000 people use the trail's north segment each year, while 120,000 users pass through the trail's south end tunnel at Scholls Ferry Road, said THPRD project manager Brad Hauschild, who expects those numbers to increase now that the new segment is open.
One small section of the new trail, near the city of Beaverton operations facility and Scholls Ferry Road, is temporarily unpaved. However, the compacted gravel segment is open for the public to use. It was left unpaved until Washington County can complete plans for a future bridge replacement/road-widening project.
The park district will work with the city and Washington County to coordinate completion of the trail section. The project, which includes a bridge replacement and road widening, is scheduled for completion this summer.
For more information, visit www.thprd.org or call 503-645-6433.