Even as Metro moves to open new destinations, work is underway to upgrade the parks and facilities that 1.3 million visitors a year already enjoy. Park improvement projects are aimed at upgrading aging facilities, improving sustainability, and enhancing safety and security.
For instance, new aluminum docks with fiberglass decking were installed in early 2016 at Chinook Landing Marine Park, one of the most popular boat ramps in the state. The new docks replace the heavily used docks on the Columbia River that were about 25 years old.
The replacement project is possible thanks to two grants from the Oregon State Marine Board and money from the parks and natural areas levy that voters in the region approved in 2013.
Blue Lake Regional Park, Metro’s most popular destination, saw several improvements. Visitors can now enjoy an enhanced entryway with an additional lane, four new restroom buildings, and a redesigned wetlands trail and viewing platforms.
Visitors to Canemah Bluff Nature Park in Oregon City can now take advantage of a new scenic overlook, footbridge and improved trails.
Other projects include improved signage, repaired roads, new barbecues, building and amenity renovations and more – all the little things that make a visit to a Metro destination more fun, convenient, safe and memorable.
New wetlands trail, restrooms at Blue Lake Regional Park
Metro continues to make improvements at Blue Lake Regional Park with money from the parks and natural areas levy voters approved in 2013.
The latest work includes four new restroom buildings and a rebuilt wetland trail and viewing platform.
The previous restrooms, some of which were more than 50 years old, had outlived their lifespan and needed a lot of maintenance, said Chris Woo, a Metro construction project manager.
Each new restroom building has eight single-occupancy, gender-neutral restrooms. Two restrooms in each building are wheelchair accessible. The buildings were pre-fabricated off site, saving money by decreasing the cost of on-site construction. The restrooms were designed with energy efficiency in mind, making them less expensive to oprate and easier to clean and maintain.
Blue Lakes’s 300,000 annual visitors will also enjoy an improved, wheelchair-accessible wetland trail. The current asphalt trail will be replaced with compacted gravel. A new fiberglass and steel viewing platform atop new metal pilings replaces an aged wooden structure.