Monday, August 8, 2016

Work on Bluff Slope to close River Road South; Detour along Sough Access Road

For the second year, as the City works on stabilizing the bluff along River Road South, the gravel access road from Sleepy Hollow along the railroad to Minto Park will offer a detour for people on foot and on bike.

Bike and Walk detour in yellow
Here's the entry at Kearney and Fir.

Route starts at Kearney and Fir
From the City release:
River Road S will be closed from Owens Street S to Minto Island Road S beginning August 13, 2016, to allow for improvements to the slope along a section of River Road S. The closure may last up to nine days.

This section of River Road S has a number of trees along the crest of the slope that have become undermined, and could fall on the roadway. The work involves removing trees and brush from the top and face of the slope, and removing unstable loose rock and soil. This project is similar to the work completed last year just north of the current site.

Vehicular traffic will be detoured along a route that follows Commercial Street SE, Liberty Street S, Madrona Avenue SE, and Croisan Creek Road S (see attached map).

Pedestrians and bicyclists who need a way around the road closure to Minto- Brown Island Park may take a temporary alternate route across the railroad at Kearney Street S, and along the Willamette Slough.

Pedestrians and bicyclists taking this route need to be cautious in crossing the railroad tracks, and should be advised that the alternate route is a gravel road to the park (see attached map).
This route really should be paved and formalized as a multi-use path inside of the Park system. The new bridge, it's true, will take pressure off the need for this, but the path along River Road itself is just so icky, all exposed to super zoomy auto traffic. 


Rich T said...

Totally agree. The path along River Road makes getting to the park not fun. If they made the path permanent, it might even be better than the new bridge because it would be less crowded.

Tom Andersen said...

I am Tom Andersen, a Salem City Councilor and avid bicyclist. I have long advocated for this idea - moving the bike path to the west side of the tracks, for all sorts of reasons. The real problem is with the railroad and its control over the crossing. In late July I discussed this matter (making the detour a permanent route) with folks in Public Works, both in terms of funding for the project in the Capital Improvements Projects (CIP) and in approaching the railroad. Here is the response of Peter Fernandez, Public Works Director: "I have asked our staff to approach the railroad when the project is completed to see if they will allow the ped/bike crossing permanently. If we get the okay, then this will be a great CIP project. We have wanted to do this for a very long time. We'll see what the railroad says."

So, this may be happening. I will do what I can to make sure it does.

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

Thanks, Councilor! That is great news. Unfortunately, RR resistance, even official policy against, to new at-grade crossings is a real problem. So we'll see how it goes.

Tom Andersen said...

You are very welcome. And thanks to you for all you do for our community.

I am familiar with RR resistance, but one never knows!