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West Hayden Island Concept Plan Alternatives - Background

West Hayden Island Concept Plan

The concept plan development is the centerpiece of the West Hayden Island project and has been conducted with active participation of the Project Advisory Committee and the public through open houses, office hours, presentations and a variety of other outreach efforts.

Concept Plan Definition: A concept plan is not a complete land use plan or design. It is simply a very general representation of the elements that planners and stakeholders would like to see incorporated into a project plan. When the time comes to adopt zoning and other land use regulations, it provides planners and the community an idea of what they should be zoning/planning for, i.e., a rail loop, open space.

Base Concept Plan and Report

In February 2012, project consultant, Worley Parsons, unveiled the base concept plan to the Project’s Advisory committee. This report explains the process that the public and the WHI Advisory Committee went through to create a series of concept plan alternatives, and refine these plans to produce one base concept to protect at least 500 acres as open space and allow marine terminal development up to 300 acres.  The base concept plan is very conceptual in nature and should be seen as a snapshot in time of what may be feasible for a potential future development and enhancement, protection and passive recreational opportunities. Here’s a quick list of some key elements and features of the base concept plan:

Terminal Operations and Transportation

  • Rail loop north of power lines, bulk products terminal and auto facility layout areas, plus a post processing manufacturing building
  • Dock orientation downstream provides flexibility for barges 
  • Optional bridge to marine drive shown, main access point Hayden Island Drive

Environmental restoration/enhancement

  • Reduced intrusion to shallow water habitat and increase opportunities for back water channels suitable for salmon and other (e.g., waterfowl, shorebirds) species.
  • Expanding and enhancing existing wetland areas, 
  • Improving forest habitats and controlling invasive species, 
  • Enhancing herbaceous and sparsely vegetated habitat by increasing grass and herbaceous species


  • Seasonal pedestrian trail to the northern beach that extends to the western tip of the island.
  • Access to the eastern end of WHI via optional locations for non-motorized boat launches on the south side of the island 
  • A pedestrian trail that extends along the southern edge of the facility to the west side of the terminal and to a viewpoint near Benson Pond.

WHI Concept Plan Alternatives and Features (Fall - Winter 2011)

In the fall-winter 2011, project consultant, Worley Parsons, created two concept plan alternatives that laid out different elements with the intent to protect at least 500 acres as open space, and identify no more than 300 acres for future deep water marine terminal development. The main focus areas became terminal operations, open space enhancement, transportation networks and passive recreational opportunities. The Project’s Advisory Committee and the general public, at two open houses and a virtual open house, offered numerous comments on key elements to create one base concept plan.  

The following information provides a detailed description of the original, two concept plan alternatives (A and B). Each of these layouts has a corresponding map detailing terminal and rail layouts as well as potential recreation amenities and open space preservation opportunities.

Alternative A − Terminal and Rail layout: These layouts show three terminal types within an oblong rail loop and a new bridge connection to Marine Drive.

Alternative A − Open Space and Recreation layout: This recreation and open space layout shows a combination of beach access, trailheads to several viewpoints along the south shore, and shallow water habitat preservation around the island.

Alternative B − Terminal and Rail layout: These layouts show a rounder rail loop also accommodating three terminal types within the loop.

Alternative B − Open Space and Recreation layout: This recreation and open space layout shows fewer recreational trails, with access limited to areas east of the power line corridors. A beach access trail along the north side of the island is shown. Additional shallow water habitat is created in the interior of the island connecting the Oregon Slough with the Columbia River.

For more details about the concept plan alternatives

See the Power Point presentation by WorleyParsons that describes the features and characteristics of the two alternatives in greater detail.

For a “quick look” at the two alternatives

See the table below to compare the different elements of the concept plan alternatives.


Concept Plan Elements Option A Option B


Accommodates 10,000 lineal ft (125-unit train)

Accommodates 10,000 lineal ft (125-unit train)


Generally more recreation: Trails, beach access, large parking facility. ADA, minor natural soil trails out to western tip

Less recreation: much less access to western part of island. Natural barrier – shallow water, wetland habitat corridor. Beach access maintained, parking on east side of railroad tracks

Bridge (access)

Yes, with access to Marine Drive

No. Access would be through Hayden Island Drive

Terminal footprint & infrastructure

At or less than 300 acres

At or less than 300 acres

Terminal types

Bulk, auto

Bulk , auto

Council parameters

Stays within power corridors

Rail loop goes south of east-west utility corridor

Forest patch size

Stays in Council parameters; shows some forest enhancement in rail loop

Maintains larger patch of forest middle of island;

shows some forest enhancement in rail loop


Shallow water habitat

More shallow water remains intact

Rail loop going south of east-west corridor affects existing wetlands and OHW. Creates shallow water/wetland habitat corridor across island from Benson Pond


For more information about the concept plan alternatives, please contact Rachael Hoy at or call 503-823-9715.