Work has been completed on a $1.6 million extension of the Ruth Bascom Riverbank Path
in the River Road-Santa Clara area, and the multi-use path extension is open for public use.
Knife River Corporation, working under contract to the Eugene Public Works Department,
began work early this year to extend the path from River Avenue, under the Randy Pape’ Beltline,
along Division Avenue to Beaver Street. The primary source of funding for the project was a federal
transportation enhancement grant administered by the Oregon Department of Transportation.
The project extends the existing West Bank trail to connect the River Road and Santa Clara
neighborhoods. Previously, bicyclists and pedestrians wishing to cross the Beltline corridor had to
use River Road, a busy arterial street with five lanes of traffic moving approximately 32,000 vehicles
a day. The extended trail provides a safer option that reduces the number of vehicle conflicts with
pedestrian and bicycle movements. The project also provides a connection from Eugene’s Bascom
Riverbank Trail System to the street system north of Beltline.
The new 12-foot-wide, concrete path is about 3,200 feet long and includes pedestrian-scale
lighting, a retaining wall next to the Willamette River under Beltline, and an undercrossing at the
main truck entrance to the Delta Sand & Gravel yard on Division Avenue.
The extension to the West Bank Path segment brings the total length of the Riverbank Path
system to approximately 14.5 miles: 2.7 miles on the West Bank Path, 4 miles on the South Bank
Path, 2.8 miles on the East Bank Path, and 5 miles on the North Bank Path. The path system is
named for former Mayor Ruth Bascom, who was an avid cyclist and a strong advocate for bicycling
facilities in Eugene.
Also this summer, the segment of the South Bank Path was reconstructed from Greenway
Bridge to the RiverPlay Discovery Village Playground in Skinner Butte Park using voter-approved
bond measure funds.
As Lee Shoemaker, the cities Bicycle/Pedestrian Coordinator states:
“We realize it ends just short of the neighborhood to the west of Beaver Street. Lane County had a project in their capital improvement program to upgrade Beaver and Hunsaker to urban standards and add bike lanes and sidewalks. The project was removed from their CIP due to funding constraints. The project is included in the Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan.”
This is an exciting extension that when connected with a new Beaver/Hunsaker will really improve connectivity and safe/comfortable cycling in that region of town.