The Oregon Department of Transportation has announced recipients of their Oregon Community Paths grants for improvements to bicycle and pedestrian walkways throughout the State of Oregon and the City of Astoria’s application for funding to add lighting east on the Riverwalk from 20th St. to 39th. Street was one of 17 projects selected out of 57 proposals.
The grant application was submitted last fall by the Parks and Recreation Department, with assistance from the City’s Public Works and Finance Departments, and will add bollard lighting east along the Riverwalk to increase visibility for pedestrians and bicyclists using the trail at night and early in the morning. Increased lighting along the Riverwalk was identified as a priority in the 2016 Comprehensive Parks Master Plan as a way to increase use of the Riverwalk and deter vandalism and other negative behavior. Supporters of the grant include the Mill Pond Homeowner’s Association, The Astoria Downtown Historic District, The Astoria-Warrenton Area Chamber of Commerce, and Columbia Memorial Hospital.
The grant award is $844,843 out of a total estimated project cost of $941,539; a match of $96,969 (10.7%) will be provided by the City. The match will be supplied from the Promote Astoria fund and the expense has been included in the FY21-22 budget for this use. After the grant agreement is executed in July, the Parks Department will procure a contractor and anticipates the project being carried out fall 2021 – summer 2022.
The work being accomplished with these funds dovetails with a previous Local Government Grant award of $428,408 the City received through the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department in February, 2021 to carry out in $717,435 in improvements along the western portion of the Riverwalk. That project will also add lighting to the trail; as well as interpretive signs, ADA accessibility features, and a Portland Loo restroom facility at the soon-to-be-built Nordic Park, and the project will run from Uniontown through the Historic Downtown area. Both the Oregon Community Paths grant and the Local Government Grant applications were undertaken because of strong community support received through the 2016 master planning process to add amenities and features along the Riverwalk that will increase its utility as a recreation resource. Between the two grant projects, over $1.6M of infrastructure investment will be made along the Riverwalk over the next few years; with a total of $385,633 in funds being provided from the City of Astoria.
Project updates and timelines will be posted at astoriaparks.com