What’s called a critical piece of Lincoln City’s Head to Bay Trail has run into a bit of a fog bank as the city council has decided to seek assurance that any possible cost overruns on the project don’t come back on the city. The critical link in the trail is a new bike and pedestrian bridge that would cross the ravine at the end of NE Port Avenue. The nearly $810,000 cost is split 80/20 with ODOT, with the city’s piece at $162,000. Although the ODOT agreement notes that any amount not covered will come from the State Transportation Funds not allocated to the 2012-13 fiscal year.
Although the council acknowledged ODOT’s statement of covering any overages, they wanted more assurance that the city’s portion will be as stated in the contract and no more. Public Works Director Lila Bradley said she will discuss the issue with ODOT and report back to the council.
If constructed, the bridge will connect the Head to Bay Trail along the east side of Highway 101 and will provide hiking and bicycling access to several hard to get to recreation areas of Lincoln City. The crossing of the ravine, rather than riding around it, was deemed the preferred route because the existing street network does not have enough right-of-way to allow for a wider pathway. City staff contends that routing trail hikers and bicyclists out onto fairly narrow city streets would discourage use of the Head to Bay Trail.