The Trolley Trail

The Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Project runs just east of the Trolley Trail, a six-mile regional bicycle and pedestrian artery that connects with the Springwater Corridor and the I-205 trails. To accommodate the light rail alignment and the new SE Park Ave Station, reconstruction will shift the trail west by several feet for approximately one-half mile of the Trolley Trail.

The project team is working closely with the North Clackamas Park District to build this segment of the trail. Construction requires the closure of the trail between SE Park Avenue to River Road until the new portion is complete in 2014. Protective barricades are in place at both ends of the trail closure, with detour signage at SE Park Avenue, SE Sparrow Road and 26th Avenue, and SE River Road.


Land Use Permit for Planting Enhancements, May 2013

The Portland Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Project intends to apply for a Land Use permit with the City of Milwaukie regarding planting enhancements to the Trolley Tail landscape plan. The enhancements are a result of input from partner agencies, and community members, with a focus on improving privacy and screening for the neighborhood, maintaining open site lines to increase safety, and adding new species to improve aesthetics and diversity. Proposed planting updates do not alter tree mitigation totals required by previous approvals.

Trolley Trail Landscape Planting Updates (8 MB PDF)

To learn more about these landscape updates please attend this month’s Milwaukie’s Monthly Light Rail meeting Monday, May 20th 5:30 p.m. at 2300 SE Beta Street Suite A.

The land use permit will include a mailed public notice and chance to comment on the proposal prior to the city’s decision.


Removal, replacement and reuse of trees

Crews began removing trees along the Trolley Trail in September 2012. This work was approved through City of Milwaukie and Clackamas County land use actions. During tree removal, lane restrictions will be in place on SE McLoughlin Road and the bus stop south of Sparrow Road may experience temporary closures.

Fencing will protect remaining trees and their root zones and erosion-control best practices will include a silt fence, long tubes of bound-straw barriers and catch basin inlet protection. In fall 2014, the project will replant approximately 441 trees in the area.

Larger trees slated for removal were limbed and topped before being taken with their root balls intact and replanted in regional stream restoration projects.

Smaller removed trees are being reused as

  • donated milled wood
  • chips for community gardens
  • compost, firewood for Clackamas County seniors and low income residents
  • and Trolley Trail public art

Six artists experienced in working with wood are transforming trees taken from the Trolley Trail into six new sculptures for the site. Selected by the TriMet Public Art Advisory Committee, the artists hail from the Pacific Northwest and represent a range of stylistic approaches from traditional to contemporary.

Each sculpture will be designed to enhance the Trolley Trail experience by creating visual and emotional connections between trail users and their surroundings. Clustered within the one-half-mile area of the new Trolley Trail alignment, the artwork will constitute a unique collection of northwest wood sculpture and a distinctive feature for this part of the trail.

Riparian enhancements

The project also enhances an 11,200-square-foot designated water quality resource area north of Sparrow Street. The ecosystem restoration will remove invasive species such as blackberry, Japanese knotweed, morning glory, and English ivy.

These invasives will be replaced with evergreen and deciduous trees such as Big Leaf Maple, Cascara, cedars, Douglas Fir and shrubs like vine maple, Oregon Grape, serviceberry and snowberry. These drought tolerant native plants will extend the riparian plantings and promote habitat.

Trail improvements

As part of the light rail project, crews are also installing sound walls and retaining walls along the trail. A combination of gabion retaining walls (made of recycled concrete or rock inside galvanized wire “baskets”) and board walls formed with vertical texture and planted with Boston Ivy will add visual interest, color and texture. From SE Park Avenue to River Road and under the Kellogg Creek Bridge, permanent pedestrian-level downcast lighting will be added on the Trolley Trail to minimize light pollution and promote pedestrian safety.