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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland Parks & Recreation

Healthy Parks, Healthy Portland

Phone: 503-823-7529

1120 SW Fifth Avenue, Portland, OR 97204

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Waud Bluff Trail

  • A portion of the newly completed Waud Bluff Trail

  • The bridge portion of the Waud Bluff Trail

  • This photos shows the Waud Bluff Trail bridge section still under construction

Located on N. Willamette Blvd & Harvard, near the southeast corner of the University of Portland where a steep bluff rises over Swan Island, this project provides a vital link between Willamette Blvd and the proposed North Portland Greenway Trail, as well as access to Swan Island and its numerous businesses. Completed in April 2013, commuters and other trail users now enjoy a 1,700-ft trail through a natural area, with an improved grade and a paved trail surface. New retaining walls  help stabilize the trail on this steep bluff. The bridge stairway has a bike track which makes navigating the stairs easier for cyclists.The new bridge allows users safer access over active Union Pacific railroad tracks onto Swan Island. Other benefits of the project include the addition of new native plants, a new concrete landing at the trailhead on Willamette Blvd, and creation of a pedestrian island and crosswalk on Willamette Blvd to address longstanding concerns about access to the trail and the TriMet bus stop.

Project Partners
Swan Island Transportation Management Association, UPS, US Coast Guard, adidas, University of Portland, Metro, Bureau of Environmental Services

The Waud Bluff Trail project evolved from several previous planning efforts including the North Beach Study, the North Portland Willamette Greenway Feasibility Study, and the Swan Island Trails Action Plan. As a result, City Council approved inclusion of this trail in the Transportation System Plan. MTIP (Metropolitan Transportation Improvement Project) funding of $1,175,376 (with $134,524 local match) was secured in 2005. Metro provided $202,936 for the trail project via a Congressional Earmark to Metro for trail construction. The earmark was sponsored by Rep. Earl Blumenauer. Portland’s Bureau of Environmental Services created a Community Benefit Opportunity (CBO) grant that helped with nearly $200,000 in funding for the project. The Oregon Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration contributed a further $1,966,950 towards the total project cost of $3,207,129.