Bear Creek Greenway Reconstruction Work
Improves Seven Miles of the Multi-use Trail
Seven miles of smoother walking, biking, and skating on the Bear Creek Greenway are the result of reconstruction work last summer.
Repairs focused on the oldest sections of the multi-use trail, where the trail runs through Medford and between Ashland and Talent. These sections of the trail, originally built in the 1970s and early 1980s, had significant root damage and pavement deterioration.
Full depth reclamation, a process where the deteriorating pavement is ground up and mixed with powdered cement and used as base for the new asphalt, was used to repair most of these sections. Reinforced concrete was used to repair another section of trail north of Ashland that was plagued with longitudinal cracking.
"The reconstruction project is a game-changer for the Bear Creek Greenway," said Jackson County Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator Jenna Stanke. "Over one third of the trail was rough, narrow, or both, and now it's new, wide, smooth pavement. That's really a huge improvement."
The Bear Creek Greenway Joint Powers Committee, a consortium of the jurisdictions that manage the trail, provided the approximately $170,000 local match for the $1.7 million project, which included grants from the Readiness, Federal Flexible Funds, Discretionary Transportation Enhancements and ODOT's Bicycle/Pedestrian programs.
According to Stanke, several various repair plots were installed on a short stretch of trail with extensive root damage just north of Phoenix as part of another grant project. Short sections of porous concrete, decomposed granite, rubber pavers, and root barrier are being analyzed and will be monitored, with the goal of determining which solutions are most cost effective, amenable to trail users, and resilient to root damage.
"We'll use what we find from the root project to determine how to best complete future spot fixes on the trail where roots are heaving the pavement," says Stanke.
The $62,000 root repair project was funded with a grant from the State Parks Recreational Trails Program, with a local contribution of $13,000 from Bear Creek Greenway Joint Powers Committee funds.
The next project involves installing informational signage, including mile markers, map kiosks, and directional and location signs along the trail. This work is scheduled for this winter and next spring, thanks to another Recreational Trails Program grant. Work on the trail will also include spot repairs for root heaves as well as pavement maintenance such as sealing the asphalt and repairing shoulder rock.
Greenway Trail Etiquette
Yield to Pedestrians
Pedestrians always have the right of way.
Obey All Trail Signs & Rules
For your safety, note all marked hazards and travel at a safe speed.
Keep Pets on Short Leash
Walk pets on the right-hand shoulder if possible. Use a 5-foot or shorter leash, and clean/carry out your pet's waste.
Keep Right and Pass on Left
Think of the trail as a roadway. Always allow other users room to pass you on the left.
If You Stop, Please Leave the Trail
Always allow other trail users room to pass on the left.
Announce Yourself Before Passing
Politely Warn Trail Users as You Approach from Behind
Example, "Passing on your left!"
Please Help Keep the Trail Safe and Clean
Report any suspicious behavior to 911.
Absolutely No Motorized Vehicles on Trail, Including Scooters
Handicap scooters are the exception to this rule.
Did you know?
Trail counts conducted in May 2012 determined that there are over 150,000 trips annually and over 400 trips per day at each of six locations on the trail. Greenway Host and Adopt-a-Greenway programs are up and running for residents interested in volunteering.
The Bear Creek Greenway is complete from the Ashland Dog Park to Pine Street in Central Point. Stanke said another project is in the works to connect through the Expo property to another .85-mile of trail from Upton Road to Dean Creek Road, which will create a 20-mile continuous trail. Go online to www.pinetoupton.org to find out more and help the effort.