The Bureau of Land Management formally announce Monday evening before the Newport City Council that plans are moving ahead to make the Yaquina Head Lighthouse area even more enjoyable. The BLM will be studying the celebrated window on the Oregon Coast with additions of more pathways, better paved streets and trails into the area. The BLM says they’re launching a big planning exercise to take Yaquina Head to a whole new level and that the final “product” might be finished in the Summer of 2022.
The council approved a plan to boost water volume and availability to residents of the Yaquina Head area to more reliable water supplies. The city council approved buying additional land to make water supplies more reliable in a new pump station on NE 54th on the east side of Highway 101 and that the city will sell off what land they don’t need to bring down the cost of the new water facility. The extra water generated will supply homes on 54th and up into the Longview Hills which will see a lot more homes once the new water system is installed, which, by the way, will greatly improve “water flows” in the event of fires – whether threatening houses or other properties. No specific time-line has been forecasted but but the city council was told that things will move along rather quickly.
The council also raised the issue of the Yaquina Bay Bridge getting really close to its 100th birthday. There’s been a lot of behind-the-scenes examination of the bridge and how “elderly” it’s becoming and how vulnerable it is to the next Cascadia Subduction Zone Earthquake. It the earthquake hits, the bridge will more than likely fall into the bay. Councilors agreed that the old “Lady Yaquina” is getting rather old and in need of frequent patch-jobs to keep it street legal. The council said the time has come to sit down with top government officials in Salem, if not a few representatives from Washington DC, and lay out a plan to replace it. A minor supplement to the dream is to build another smaller bridge upstream so traffic could veer inland and then come out at either end of the Newport area. It was quite a discussion with some serious intent demonstrated to do something to be ready for the next “big one.” Oh….and the sticker price will require a wee bit of financial assistance – estimated the better part of a BILLION dollars. That’s why we have the federal government. It can print its own money. The recent Covid Pandemic forced them to roll the printing presses soon after the first of March.