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Heavy construction comes to Westmoreland Park

by: DAVID F. ASHTON - Workers install a construction bridge over Crystal Springs Creek, allowing heavy construction equipment to access the east side of Westmoreland Park.The Portland City Council in 2004 adopted the Westmoreland Park Master Plan, after a year of public meetings involving a Citizens Advisory Board. Now, after years of delay, and with the help of the Army Corps of Engineers, the project to restore Crystal Springs Creek in the park, and transform the park’s duck pond back into a natural wetland area, is now underway.

Clearly visible from S.E Bybee Boulevard, in front of PF&R Station 20, is a heavy-equipment construction area paved with very large rocks – the entry and exit point for dump trucks carting away broken pieces of the duck pond concrete lining.

A maze of temporary steel fences has sprung up, like June flowers, in the northern and southern areas of the park, cutting off most of the footbridges across the creek, access to the playground, and to the basketball court.

“One bridge, located near the maintenance building, will remain open during construction,” said Portland Parks & Recreation Community Engagement Manager Elizabeth Kennedy-Wong. “This bridge will allow access from the east side of the park to S.E. 22nd Avenue.”

To make way for the new location of the basketball court, south of the historic Westmoreland Park Casting Pond, a tree was removed. “Four trees will be also be removed for the Nature Play Area construction, but sixteen trees will be planted,” Kennedy-Wong assured.

The tennis courts, lawn bowling field, restrooms, ball fields, casting pond, and parking lot are all expected to remain open and accessible via McLoughlin Boulevard, S.E. Bybee Boulevard, and S.E. Nehalem Street.

Expect to see heavy construction equipment in and around the park throughout the summer, as this $2 million project proceeds.