Port opens new bike and pedestrian pathway section

Vancouver dignitaries ribbon cutting
A landscaped path now connects the Port of Vancouver’s administrative offices and Farwest Steel. Courtesy of Port of Vancouver

An almost half-mile section of landscaped, asphalt path now connects existing sections of trail along State Route 501/Northwest Lower River Road between the port’s administrative offices and Farwest Steel to the west. It’s one section of an overall path that, when fully complete, will extend 4.5 miles along SR 501.

After remarks and ribbon cutting, Commissioner Don Orange, a recreational cyclist, led a contingent on his bike down the new section of pathway. 

The port’s multiuse path is being completed in segments to address funding opportunities and the unique design needs specific to each segment. Total project cost for this section of the bike/pedestrian pathway is nearly $1 million and was a joint project between the port and the Southwest Washington Regional Transportation Council. The project received $500,000 in federal transportation funds through the Transportation Alternatives Program administered locally through the RTC. 

General contractor for the .42 mile segment is Keystone Contracting Inc. Planning and design of the asphalt pathway was provided by BergerABAM with geotechnical services provided by  Geotechnical Resources. The project includes a unique elevated boardwalk over a wetland area that was designed by Western Wood Structures and constructed by Michael’s Custom Woodworking. The boardwalk itself is composed of Fibergrate, a molded fiberglass slip resistant grate considered a “bike approved surface.” Concrete work was provided by Daybreak Construction, a certified Women Business Enterprise. Native seed mix producing beautiful floral landscaping was provided by Pro Time Lawn Seed, a certified Women Business Enterprise and Emerging Small Business.

Other subcontractors working on the project include CSI Construction, Brundage-Bone Concrete Pumping, AKS Engineering, Jones Aggregates, Inc., Tapani Electric and CalPortland.  

The new segment of pathway is part of a countywide trail system that will eventually connect Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge in Washougal to the Columbia River Renaissance Trail and to Frenchman’s Bar Regional Park in Vancouver.  The port is responsible for the final two additional miles of pathway, from Farwest Steel to the Vancouver Lake flushing channel. The final two miles will connect to an already-existing segment that extends to Frenchman’s Bar.

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Joanna Yorke is the managing editor of the Vancouver Business Journal. She has worked in the journalism field since 2010 after graduating from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University in Pullman. Yorke worked at The Reflector Newspaper in Battle Ground for six years and then worked at and helped start ClarkCountyToday.com.