Oct 8, 2007

I-84 Sandy River Bridge: A Confluence of Opportunity

ODOT will begin replacement of the I-84 bridge over the Sandy River in Troutdale beginning January, 2009. The estimated cost: $56 million. But that's only part of the story. As a result of cooperation with ODOT, the city of Troutdale, the US Forest Service, the 40 Mile Loop Land Trust and others, a confluence of projects will come together to enhance the area with many benefits.

The Forest Service is in the process of making many needed improvements to the Sandy River Delta, located at the north end of the I-84 Sandy River Bridge. Some of the improvements include a new parking area, no-leash dog trails, wetland closure to dogs and horses, restoration of the original Sandy River channel, and riparian forest restoration. In addition, the Forest Service is also involved via the Confluence Project and a Maya Lin designed permanent art project in the Sandy River Delta (aka Thousand Acres).

In Troutdale, we want to insure a linkage between our own trail system and the 40 mile loop that can attract our users to the Sandy River Delta, the Columbia River, and the rest of the 40 mile loop. By partnering with the 40 Mile Loop Land Trust and the Forest Service, we can provide access for cyclists to the loop, the Delta, and the Columbia River Gorge. This may even include a new, separate bicycle/pedestrian bridge across the Sandy River.

This highly unusual and welcome cooperation between various public and private agencies could bring a new shine and better pedestrian/bike access to the already fantastic confluence of Troutdale, the Sandy River, and the Columbia River Gorge

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