> Over a year after a section of Eighth Street adjacent to Sahalee Park was vacated, it will finally be closed.
According to Madras road superintendent Rod Fulton, the section of Eighth Street between B and C streets will close today to allow ground work to begin for the expansion and enhancement of Sahalee Park.
City crews will immediately start work tearing out the street and sidewalk and curb on the Sahalee Park side of the street.
When the asphalt, cinder base and concrete is removed, crews plan to "backfill with topsoil, compact it, and rough grade it in for finish gradework, which hopefully will begin by spring," Fulton said.
The mounded soil on the northeast corner of the park will form a berm on the edge of the park, to surround a future pavilion. The pavilion, which could offer shelter for concerts, picnics and other activities, will face a great lawn.
The plans for the park, drawn up by Walker Macy of Portland, also feature smaller picnic shelters located around the park, walkways, trees, a spray pool, and a pioneer memorial.
The expansion is expected to take up to two years to complete, with funding primarily from system development charges.