Phone: 503-823-PLAY (7529)
1120 SW Fifth Ave., Suite 1302, Portland, OR 97204
Construction site on December 3, 2012
Develop and implement a refinement plan for the Central District section of the South Waterfront Greenway
Portland Parks & Recreation, Portland Development Commission
The South Waterfront Greenway Development Plan, accepted by City Council in 2004, provided a vision and concept plan for the entire South Waterfront Greenway. The Greenway, which stretches from the Marquam Bridge south to the River Forum Building, will strive to balance the needs of the public and the health of the Willamette River.
The City of Portland's South Waterfront Plan envisioned parks working together to enliven the neighborhood, stimulate development activity in the area, and to provide for the recreational needs of area residents. These projects are important because they will set the tone for the quality of open space in the district. For the past four years, PP&R has been looking at how to implement the design that the City and the community developed for the Central District portion of the Greenway.
Environmental Requirements: At the direction of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), the design for the riverbank restoration includes habitat in the form of a shallow water bench that will provide shelter for juvenile fish and adjacent riparian plantings. Working jointly with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, NMFS, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, and the City’s Bureau of Environmental Services, a hybrid concept was developed in summer 2010 that met public and agency needs.
Permitting: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued their Joint Permit for the construction in June 2012, after 20 months of review. This permit incorporated the approvals of all of the other State and Federal agencies. Local permits were also received in June 2012, allowing the project move into construction after nearly 10 years of planning and design.
The full construction plan for 2012 from June through November included the development of the bench (shallow water habitat) and depended on the water levels in the Willamette dropping to a maximum of 5’. Because the river levels were unusually high this year, for an unusually long time, bench construction could not happen this year.
At the close of construction this year, the three kinds of retaining walls in the project will be in place: the Vault Wall with its soil and native plantings, the Gabion Walls (wire baskets filled with rock), and the Sheet Pile walls that will hold up the overlooks. The bank clean-up is complete at the north end of the project next to Zidell Marine. The upland staging areas and all exposed soil surfaces will be coated with mulch to control erosion over the winter and spring seasons until work begins again.
In spring 2013, as soon as river levels drop from their seasonal highs, the contractor will begin installation of the irrigation system and bring in the soil and plants on the riverbank walls.
Although work has stopped for the season, this is still considered an active construction site. Therefore, the fencing around the site must stay in place until all of the habitat restoration work is complete, expected in November 2013. Regular project updates will continue when construction resumes in the spring.
Osprey: The large steel Osprey Pole, donated to the city from the community, was relocated to the restored area of the Greenway north of where the kayak access way will be installed. The Bureau of Environmental Services is working to install a second nesting platform on an existing piling near the Atwater. This platform will be in place for the 2013 nesting season.
Public Involvement: Portland Parks & Recreation has worked closely with the South Waterfront Nature and Green Spaces Committee, South Waterfront home owners associations, South Portland Neighborhood Association, and the South Waterfront Community Relations Team. Bi-monthly updates were distributed directly to hundreds of area residents and businesses and through the South Waterfront E-current. Presentations were made to the Nature and Green Spaces Committee and the HOA. A tour of the construction site was given in August with more than 60 participants. Additionally, we were honored when U.S. District Judges Redden, Marsh, and Simon - who oversee habitat preservation and salmon restoration in the District of Oregon - toured the site with their staff and expressed great satisfaction with the goals and trajectory of the project.
This will be our final regularly-scheduled project update of 2012. We will resume our regular updates when construction resumes in the spring. Thank you for your patience, support, and attention. We look forward to continuing our work in the spring!