by: DAVID F. ASHTON - Inspectors take notes on finishing touches needed on the curved boardwalk by Crystal Springs Creek in Westmoreland Park.The early arrival of wintry weather has slowed, but not halted, the progress on the Crystal Springs Creek Restoration and Duck Pond Removal at Westmoreland Park.

For the first time, THE BEE was able to stroll along the nearly-completed curved and “outlook” boardwalks, guided by Portland Parks & Recreation Capitol Projects Manager Sandra Burtzos.

At the south end of the curved boardwalk, a south-facing “outlook” provided a delightful look into the park, over into Crystal Springs Creek. Families of ducks swam, looking for lunch, unperturbed by our presence.

Contractors were also with us, examining the curved boardwalk, taking photos, and jotting down things that need to be fixed or corrected.

“When bad weather comes – keeping our contractors from doing major work – they go back to installing the metal ‘hardware cloth’ on the boardwalk, giving it a non-slip surface,” Burtzos explained.

She pointed out the now-muddy trenches along the pathways. “These are for the upgraded irrigation system in the park on both sides of the creek, and others are for the park lighting electrical conduit.”

With concrete pads now in place, several of the ADA-compliant picnic tables have been installed on them. “We located the picnic tables in areas about three inches higher than the creek and surrounding marshland, so they won’t be inundated with water,” Burtzos pointed out.

“The ADA-compliant picnic tables are located near the porous asphalt trails,” she said. “These picnic tables are longer at one end, making easy for a person in a wheelchair to easily roll up and sit with their friends and their family. Of the total of 42 picnic tables in the park, I believe we will have six of these special tables.”

The park bench pads are built with a “kind companion space”, allowing a less able person in a wheelchair to easily sit with friends sitting on the benches. “Some people see these and think that it’s a trash can pad, but we really prefer not to have trash cans located next to park benches. We have additional pads built for our trash receptacles.”

The project is running a little behind schedule, Burtzos conceded. The landscape contractors are running behind because of the early September heavy rain. “And now, we’re into our normal rainy season. I believe they will be planting well into December, at least – and possibly into January.”

Even then, the park won’t be opened until the porous asphalt trails are rolled out, and the split-rail fences have all been installed to protect the newly-planted marsh areas.

So when will the north end of Westmoreland Park actually open to the public? “It's unknown, exactly, at this point,” said Burtzos. “I hope for January.”

On November 12, the Natural Play Area was put out to bid. “We are thinking sometime in January we may see some work starting on-site, if we get acceptable bids,” Burtzos added.

Contract Publishing

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