It’s been 10 years and the Corvallis-Albany bike path is yet to be completed.
The original idea was to make a convenient way for everyone, from homeowners to students and commuters, to get from North Albany to Corvallis. Currently, the main route being used is Highway 20, but this can be inconvenient or out of the way for some people.
“I wish they would finish it up already,” said Wessel Woods while walking along the unfinished bike path. “I am not as fast as I used to be. I can’t bike along the highway anymore.”
There have been many ups and downs with the production of this bike path. However, its status has recently been updated. Corvallis Public Works Director Josh Wheeler stated that the production of the path was split into three parts according to jurisdiction. Albany, Corvallis and Benton County each have their own sections that will hopefully connect together in the near future. Benton County is responsible for the middle section that connects the two cities’ sections.
The Corvallis section is already up and in use. It connects to the city from Circle Boulevard and stretches out to a dead end a little ways past Conifer Boulevard.
Albany Public Works and Engineering Officer Ron Irish explained that Albany has received funding for their side of the path and that the next step is to begin discussing the design. Irish also stated that the path should be stretching from Hickory Street down to Scenic Boulevard, parallel to Highway 20. Albany is hoping to begin production on their side of the path by 2018.
There have been several setbacks for Benton County’s production on their portion of the path. This is mostly due to the difficulty in finding an appropriate route and getting farmers and homeowners to agree on it.
Assuming that Benton County finds a good route to build the path, it will still take some time to do the designs and actual construction. On the other hand, if they cannot find a route, then production will be pushed back even further.
Even though it’s been a decade since the bike path first started, and there have been setbacks along the way, Irish and Wheeler see the benefits that having a bike path can bring to the community. With two-thirds of the path completed by 2018, there will be homes, schools, shopping centers, etc., all connected by a path just for cyclists.