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Board of Directors approve canal bridge, discuss SE Bend development, Mirror Pond

August 20, 2020

At the Aug. 18 board of directors meeting, a contract was approved to construct a trail connection over the Central Oregon Irrigation District canal near the future Alpenglow Park. The board also discussed several trail connections in SE Bend and the future of Mirror Pond and the bank repair and trail extension at Drake Park.

The 15th Street Trail Bridge project, located adjacent to SE 15th Street, near Chloe Lane and the Central Oregon Historic Canal Trail, will create a new north to south trail connection over the Central Oregon Irrigation District canal. The bridge connects the newly built trail along SE 15th street to Alpenglow Park.

The district is working closely with the city to develop the trail system in Bend. Portions of the new trail constructed near the SE 15th Street and Murphy Road roundabout, and north to Reed Market Road, were built as part of the Murphy Road construction done by the City of Bend. This new 15th Street Trail Bridge is a key linkage and helps complete the trail network from Reed Market Road to Alpenglow Park, as well as provide broader connections from the Central Oregon Historic Canal Trail to the new schools south of Alpenglow Park. Staff recommended that the board award a construction contract to the low bidder, Kirby Nagelhout Construction Company, and the motion was approved.

Southeast Bend is forecast to grow significantly in the coming years and a work session discussion focused on planning for future trail connections. In 2016, 2,380 acres of land for housing and employment were added to the city’s Urban Growth Boundary, a large proportion of which is located on the city’s southeastern edge. To plan for the expected growth, district staff is coordinating with the City of Bend and private developers to ensure that adequate park and trail facilities are developed. No board action was taken. Staff received feedback on the proposed parks and trails in the area.

In a staff report about parks, trails and recreation use during the pandemic, updates included:

  • Use of parks, trails and the river remain high. Additional signs and mask giveaway efforts are assisting park stewards, and towing may begin in areas experiencing unauthorized parking.
  • Incidents of vandalism are up considerably from last summer. In July 2020, there were 85 hours of park service time spent cleaning and/or repairing vandalism, compared to 25 hours for the same activities in July 2019.
  • Recreation activities, including summer camps and fitness and aquatic activities at Juniper Swim & Fitness Center, are extending into mid-September with the adjusted school year schedule.
  • The district is exploring possible childcare opportunities for school-age children and aims to have more details in the coming weeks about full-day and half-day options for families.
  • Fall sports will include youth soccer, flag football and middle school tennis. Adult softball will also wrap up its season.

The board of directors also discussed Mirror Pond and the Drake Park bank and trail project. District staff recommended and the board agreed to pursue easements needed to move forward. The topic will be added to an agenda for an upcoming meeting in September.