Greenway project welcome

By Observer editorial January 02, 2013 09:06 am
Many cities La Grande’s size and bigger, and a few quite a bit smaller, have river walks, which have the potential of attracting tourists to the area as well as giving locals a great place to recreate.

That’s why the recently completed bike and pedestrian bridge over the Grande Ronde River at Riverside Park and the first stretch of the Grande Ronde River Greenway is a positive step to making La Grande and Island City all they can be.

Together, the bridge and path are the opening phase of the greenway. Eventually, bicyclists, joggers and walkers will be able to use a path stretching from the park to the railroad bridge at Highway 82 in Island City. This will help Island City and La Grande take full advantage of the beautiful but cleverly hidden Grande Ronde River as it spills out of the Blue Mountains into the Grande Ronde Valley. The river offers different treasures depending on the season. It’s a peaceful place to enjoy the outdoors, and will give visitors to the area another opportunity to enjoy their stay. 

Island City plans to build amenities including a fish pond and a day-use park along the greenway.

Congratulations to Harper Hout Peterson Righellis for providing design engineering services during Phase One. And thanks to subcontractor Anderson Perry & Associates, who provided survey, preliminary and final engineering, environmental review, utility coordination and bid assistance.

Several firms donated materials to make Phase One of the project a success. Thanks especially for the aggregate base material provided by Mace Cadwell from Royal Rock, Jay Coleman from R.D. Mac, the Hampton family from Rogers asphalt, and Mike Partney from MiTrac construction.

Adjacent property owners also deserve a pat on the back. They were helpful during construction. They allowed temporary access to their properties, and were patient with construction inconveniences. People using the path should show respect for private property to reward them for their neighborliness.

The bridge and 2,500-foot pathway along the south side of the river are now open for use. The river walk will be a great addition to the area.