ROGUE RIVER GREENWAY OPENS NEW SECTION
With prep sports still my lord and master for the time being, here's a story about the Rogue River Greenway — a fantastic project — that just opened a new section of trail along the river.
By Jeff Duewel of the Daily Courier
Skip and Renee Kraft of Grants Pass relaxed in their recumbent bicycles — bikes that allow riders to sit in a reclining position — and celebrated the opening of a new bike path along the Rogue River.
“It’s utterly awesome. We’re lucky to have something like this,” Skip Kraft said. “It gives us a place to ride off the road, because we know we’re not always welcome out on the streets.”
The recently completed four-mile stretch is part of the Rogue River Greenway, a path that will someday form a 50-mile pedestrian and bicycle route from Ashland to Grants Pass.
“This is your Greenway. Go enjoy it,” said Shayne Maxwell, after a big green ribbon was cut, and cyclists took off.
The recently paved segment connects Valley of the Rogue State Park to the Depot Street Bridge in Rogue River. Maxwell, a Rogue River businesswoman, chaired the board of directors for the Rogue River Greenway prior to Margaret Knight, who also spoke Saturday.
“I don’t even own a bike. I have nothing in this but to do it for the community,” said Maxwell. “We’ve been working on this for eight years, we’re all volunteers and we’ve raised $6 million.”
When finished, the Rogue River Greenway will connect with the already-completed Bear Creek Greenway that reaches from Central Point to Ashland.
On the east side of Grants Pass, a new paved trail connects Spalding Avenue to Tom Pearce Park, but east of that plenty of work needs to be done.
Existing backroads will likely become part of the route, as dealing with the Central Oregon and Pacific Railroad has been rocky, Maxwell said. That means parts of Foothill Boulevard between Rogue River and Grants Pass, and North River Road between Valley of the Rogue and Rock Point will likely be part of the route. A $450,000 grant will allow a separate bike path alongside the North River Road segment, Maxwell said.
A $1.5 million grant will pay for a path under the Rock Point Bridge toward Gold Hill, with a pedestrian bridge over Sardine Creek, Maxwell said.
“The economic benefits are huge for the town of Rogue River,” Maxwell said. “You now have access to a river trail that takes people right in town.”
To help the cause, call Maxwell at 541-582-2020, or visit http://roguerivergreenway.com/.
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