Gateway Green, Portland’s first real attempt at a bike park, has been closed for several months now with phase two construction currently ongoing. With the trails closed, the small bit of sanctioned trail in the city is almost non-existent. Though work paused briefly due to the ongoing pandemic, construction has resumed and the new iteration of the park is slowly taking shape.
6/30/20 NWTA Publishes Gateway Green Update
Kelsea DeFlippis of the Northwest Trail Alliance has posted an update on the Phase II construction that includes quotes from Friends of Gateway Green as well as Portland Parks and Rec in regards to the trails on the south hill which have been removed as part of the grading process.
PP&R is committed to enhancing and improving the riding experience when these improvements are completed. Changes will be made to the existing Toe Line Trail, the existing advanced jump line will be re-built, the existing pumptrack will be re-located to make room for a future asphalt pumptrack, and existing skills area will be refreshed with funds provided to NWTA through the Travel Oregon Forever Fund. This work will begin this summer and continue over the next several months.
View the post at NW-Trail.org
6/19/20 Gateway Green Construction Update
Though we’re not currently involved with volunteer efforts or planning at this time, we’ve fielded questions from fellow riders enough to prompt an update from eyes on the ground.
Phase II Construction: What’s happening
The city of Portland’s website boasts the Gateway Green site will provide a much-needed site for off-road cycling and other outdoor recreation, though cycling currently isn’t the focus of construction. Instead, the improvements are focused on making the site fully accessible, ADA compliant, and building out the infrastructure of the park.
A large part of this is the construction of the “spine”, as well as the swale that will act as an infiltration basin and stormwater facility.
According to the February 2020 update, Gateway Green’s Phase 2 construction will include:
- Improved trails and paths, including a new gravity-oriented mountain bike trail
- Public gathering spaces and play area
- Habitat improvements and plantings
- Improved park utilities, including drinking water and restrooms.
At the moment, the site is undergoing a massive transformation, and the space is barely recognizable to the cycling users that were frequenting the area even months ago.
ETA for completion of this phase was expected to be November of 2020. It remains to be seen if the cycling facilitites will officially reopen at this time.
Breaking down the 2020 Design
If you visit the park at the moment, you may find it difficult to visualize what the final results of the phase two construction will look like. It appears the efforts of the current construction at the moment are focused on grading and creating the entry plaza, as well as blocking out the spine.
In the past we have expressed disappointment to see the spine will effectively remove much of the potential trail mileage; hopefully, the addition of a paved pump track makes up for it in the short term, as the site and the amount of actual trail on the ground is minimal.
Looking at the long term vision plan and the potential future of the park brings a hint of positivity though, as a proposed land bridge would connect the green space to Rocky Butte, and would significantly increase the mileage of the single track experience.
Hopefully, sound barriers and attempts to damp the noise are part of the improvements; the constant roar of traffic is impossible to ignore. The sound of cars doesn’t exactly scream “mountain bike experience”.
“The continued improvements at Gateway Green are exciting news for off-road cyclists and hikers around the Portland metro area,” says Portland Parks & Recreation Director Adena Long. “We thank the Friends of Gateway Green, Metro, and the NW Trail Alliance for their inspiring advocacy and their continued volunteer work.”
— via Portland Parks:
“Gateway Green is a transformational project that will improve habitat while responding to the community’s needs,” says Juan Carlos Ocaña-Chíu, Parks + Nature Community Investments and Cemeteries Manager for Metro. “Providing a signature greenspace for a growing hub of jobs, housing, and public transportation will help keep our region livable. Metro is excited to partner with Portland Parks and Recreation to bring this incredible community benefit to people who live and play in east Portland.”
Funding for this $5.75 Million project includes $1M from Metro and $4.75M in Portland Parks & Recreation System Development Charges.
Looking forward: Gateway Green, Phase III
A third phase of construction is planned in the future that will add an additional park entrance to the southern portion of the park near the Gateway Transit Center. The timing of phase three is dependant on TriMet’s Better Red project. Better Red will connect the existing Transit Center with a new MAX Red Line Platform and extend north over I-84.
The bridge over the freeway and railroad track would also include a long-awaited bike and pedestrian bridge.
Gateway Green Phase II Construction Schedule (via Portland Parks)
Project Budget: $5.75 Million
Funding Sources: $1M Metro IGA, and $4.75M Parks & Recreation System Development Charges
Design Consultant: Greenworks, PBS Engineering & Environmental
Construction Contractor: Raimore Construction