As construction work on the new Interstate 84 bridges over the Sandy River continues, the city of Troutdale is looking to build separate paved pedestrian and bicycle pathways under the bridges, eventually providing a key link to other trails in the region.

The city will work with the Oregon Department of Transportation in applying for a flexible funds grant to help pay for the new path, according to a resolution passed Tuesday, Oct. 11, by the Troutdale City Council.

By building the path under the I-84 bridges, the city hopes it will help successfully apply for other grants to finish local trails such as Troutdale's incomplete portion of the 40-Mile Loop Trail.

Mayor Jim Kight said he hopes to complete the missing sections of the 40-Mile Loop Trail, which runs north and south of I-84 and passes along the west side of the Sandy River through the urban renewal site at the former sewage treatment plant and connects to downtown Troutdale.

The grant also will help complete a continuous pathway from Northwest 257th Avenue to the north side of I-84, allowing pedestrians and bicyclists to avoid the traffic-heavy Graham Road underpass at I-84.

The city has previously applied for grants to complete segments of the Loop Trail, but the applications failed because they involved constructing trails that terminated at the I-84 bridges without connections to any other trails.

The estimated cost to construct the trail is more than $2.4 million, including construction of retaining walls along the Sandy River, Kight said. ODOT will apply for the maximum $2.1 million grant, and Troutdale will commit $295,000 of its local share from the voter-approved 2006 Metro Open Space bond measure.

The city is negotiating with ODOT to cover the remaining $20,000, Kight said.

Since Troutdale's portion of the Metro grant will be spent on the project, Kight said the city will look for other grants to pay for a planned riverfront esplanade, which would run along the west side of the Sandy River and may include amenities such as river views and fishing spots.

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