City of Tigard relents to beavers, plans new Fanno Creek Trail crossing at Scholls Ferry Road

City of Tigard relents to beavers, plans new Fanno Creek Trail crossing at Scholls Ferry Road

Darn beavers. There’s a bike path in there somewhere.
(Photo: Jim “K’Tesh” Parsons)

The beavers have won.

Flooding aftermath.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Conservation efforts to restore wetlands around Fanno Creek in Beaverton have been so successful that Oregon’s state animal is thriving. There are five beaver dams in the one-mile stretch of the Fanno Creek Trail between SW Hall and Scholls Ferry Road. That’s great news, except for the resulting floods that wreak havoc on the popular path that runs alongside them. For years people who rely on the Fanno Creek Trail have run into seasonal flooding in several sections of the path — including where it runs under Scholls Ferry Road. Mud and water make the path impassable and people are forced to go far out-of-direction or make climb up to the street and cross seven lanes of traffic without help of a signal or crosswalk.

Now the City of Tigard is taking action. In the short-term they plan to re-route and raise sections of the path while they seek more community feedback about whether or not to build a new crossing treatment on Scholls Ferry Road.

“Some folks have told us they think it is neat to observe the beaver activity in the area, but we mostly heard that people are getting frustrated and concerned about how often the trail floods and can stay flooded over time,” the city says.



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Next summer, crews will raise the undercrossing portion of the path by 10 inches. The work will lead to an overhead clearance of just 7-feet, far below standard guidelines, so chicanes will be installed to slow path users down. And this summer crews will build a new section of path just south of Scholls Ferry Road that’s roughly in line with where many people would walk and bike around regular flooding.

There’s currently an online open house that seeks feedback on next steps and the proposed at-grade crossing. Weigh in and learn more at City of Tigard’s website.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org
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