A bike and pedestrian trail could connect Templin Beach and Micelli parks in Roseburg by summer’s end.
The Roseburg City Council is expected to decide July 22 whether to hire Professional Underground Services of Eugene to complete the job for $116,000. The parks commission last week recommended hiring Professional Underground, the low bidder.
Public Works Director Nikki Messenger said construction would likely begin in August and take about a month. She said the path will be paved and about 10 feet wide. It will begin at Templin Avenue and travel along city property parallel to the South Umpqua River, ending in a loop around Micelli Park.
The Roseburg Bicycle and Pedestrian Coalition and volunteers who have been cleaning up Southeast Roseburg’s riverfront are enthusiastic about the trail. They say it will improve a path that is already seeing a growing amount of use.
The project is part of a long-range plan to develop a bicycle and pedestrian loop around the city. The trail could eventually include a footbridge across the South Umpqua River connecting Micelli Park and the Douglas County Fairgrounds.
Most of the money for the Templin to Micelli segment will come from a state grant. The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department’s Recreational Trail Grant program will pay $74,969 toward the project. The city’s portion could come from urban renewal funds.
The City Council voted in March to extend the city’s urban renewal district to include Micelli and Templin Beach parks. The district defines where the city can pay for projects by borrowing and paying back loans with taxes collected from rising property values. The city expects to collect about $15 million in urban renewal funds over the next six years.
About 60 volunteers and 20 businesses pitched in over the winter to remove blackberry brambles, brush, tires, syringes and other trash along the river, creating an inviting open woodland from Micelli Park to the river and southward along the riverbank.
Since then, cleanup organizer Ashley Hicks said she has seen a lot of new faces.
“I think every day there’s more and more people coming down to not only the riverfront but the park. I think a lot of people didn’t even know that park was there,” Hicks said.
Hicks said she is thrilled the city is making progress on the riverfront trail.
“It’s really cool the city’s supporting what the community wants — safe access to the river and good bike paths. I think it’s awesome,” Hicks said.
Roseburg Bike and Pedestrian Coalition member Burt Tate said he has already been cycling on the compacted ground behind Micelli Park where the cleanup took place.
Tate said he looks forward to a trail someday looping around the city.
“Adding any little piece to the whole picture is wonderful,” he said. “I think it’s wonderful progress.”
Hicks said the riverfront is important to the community.
“We need to exercise, to be close to the river, to be outside. That’s our downtime. It’s really important to our well being,” Hicks said.
• You can reach reporter Carisa Cegavske at 541-957-4213 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s really cool the city’s supporting what the community wants — safe access to the river and good bike paths. I think it’s awesome.