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The City of Portland, Oregon

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Bond-funded construction for accessibility is ramping up at the Rose Garden

Photo of person in wheelchair at Rose Garden.

Person in wheelchair at Rose Garden moving along with woman pushing stroller in the Rose Garden photo.

Access is limited at Washington Park International Rose Test Garden
as the Bond-funded work ramps up to provide accessibility

Funded by the 2014 Parks Improvement Bond, Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) had a ground-breaking ceremony on February 24th to commence the project designed on removing ADA accessibility barriers. The work soon after in March and is moving along with construction personnel, equipment and vehicles working in the Washington Park International Rose Test Garden. The majority of the Garden will continue to be open to visitors, but access will be very limited for at least the next two months.

PP&R is urging visitors to use caution as Garden paths are being shared with construction crews. For visitors’ safety, PP&R is asking to not intrude into any areas closed off. Access may change often as the work moves around the site and there will be noise and construction debris.

The work will include excavating the existing pathway and stairs, removing the pathway and sub-grade materials, regrading the pathway to improve slopes and drainage, pouring concrete pavement, and installing new fixtures such as handrails. Construction vehicles will use the same hauling routes used by other Washington Park construction vehicles (SW Tichner Drive and SW Sacajawea). Due to the Water Bureau construction, the main access to the Rose Garden from downtown Portland is via West Burnside to SW Tichner Dr. The access into Washington Park at SW Park Place is closed.

Project work will also include work in the pathway by the Rose Garden Store leading up to the parking area by the tennis courts, including improvements to the pathway, pedestrian crossings, and ADA parking spaces. Pedestrian impacts will occur and will be of a limited duration.

For further information about the accessibility construction at Washington Park, please visit the PP&R webpage. There will be detailed information on the impact to visitors, the Parks Replacement Bond, contact informations regarding any questions, the Master Plan Update, and more.

The 4.5 acre garden is the oldest official continuously-operated public rose test garden in the United States, with over 10,220 rose bushes and 607 varieties of roses. It serves as a testing ground for new rose varieties. The Garden is free and open to the public year-round. Led by the Garden’s curator, many dedicated volunteers help care for the roses and lead daily free tours during the summer. Over half a million people visit every year.