Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District: Connecting People, Parks and Nature: Metro Council Approves Major Grant to THPRD for New Beaverton Trail
by Bob Wayt
The Metro Council has approved a $3.7 million federal grant to the Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District for construction of a new, 1.5-mile trail near downtown Beaverton that will offer a variety of benefits to users.
The Beaverton Creek Trail will run east-west and connect Hocken Avenue in Beaverton to the Westside Regional Trail at the Tualatin Hills Nature Park. The pathway will be 12 feet wide, which is typical for a regional trail segment.
Funding will be awarded in 2019. The park district anticipates starting construction in 2020 and finishing by the end of 2021. A Metro analysis shows that residents near the trail corridor include significantly above average populations of minorities, low-income and youth. User benefits will include a more pleasant, off-street transportation experience, safer passage, and improved access to light-rail and bus lines, employment and commercial areas, recreation and natural areas. It also fills a gap in THPRD’s 70-mile trail system for walkers, joggers, bicyclists and others.
“Obviously, we are thrilled by this major grant, one of the largest we’ve ever received,” said Doug Menke, THPRD general manager. “Trails are quite popular in our greater Beaverton area, with residents using them hundreds of thousands of times each year. It’s the main reason we have invested so much time, energy and funds the last several years to expand our trails network.”
Much of those efforts have been made possible by THPRD’s 2008 voter-approved bond measure, which included the addition of more than six miles of new trail connections.
“Everyone deserves the ability to get where they’re going safely. The Beaverton Creek Trail will add another key link to a growing and vital regional trails network,” said Metro Councilor Kathryn Harrington. “Like THPRD’s other trails, it will offer a scenic, safe and healthy option for Washington County residents and workers to enjoy on our journey to work, school, errands or visiting with friends. Most important, it will be open to everyone in our community: kids, families, commuters and others just getting out for fresh air.”
The grant will cover about 80% of the estimated $4.6 million project cost. THPRD will contribute some systems development charge money and Washington County has provided additional funds. The City of Beaverton is assisting in the project as a technical partner, lending staff time and expertise.