Depoe Bay building a new park bridge, pursues a “Harbor Renaissance,” a park improvement, and ponders surviving “the big one.”
Depoe Bay City Councilors decided to think bigger when it comes to replacing the pedestrian foot bridge across the creek that flows into Depoe Bay Harbor. At the last city council meeting, there were calls to cut back on costs by settling for an 8′ wide bridge that could handle smaller emergency vehicles. But Tuesday night the council went for the whole enchilada – 12 feet – enough to handle a full sized fire truck that might need to use the bridge in a major fire or even a major earthquake since the regular Highway 101 bridge would be too damaged to handle that much iron.
A big part of the funding comes through a state parks grant that has already been extended once. City Clerk Recorder Pery Murray admonished the council that going with the larger bridge means more work, higher costs and more time to get it installed. She reminded the council that the grant is up at the end of December with little hope of renewal. And that means if the bridge isn’t installed by the end of December, the city could end up “eating” a major part of the costs.
However, after considerable discussions, the council decided to go with the larger bridge and awarded the bid for its nearly $130,000 construction to Quade Construction of Eugene.
Construction is expected to begin by mid to late October and be complete before the December 31st deadline.
Depoe City Councilors Tuesday night also applied for a Land Conservation and Development grant to fund what’s termed the “Harbor Renaissance Project.” The project involves some dock rehabilitation in the harbor, but also provides both elevated and “on the water” access to the docks for better pedestrian enjoyment of the harbor. The city is putting up match money for the $74,000 cost of concept drawings and preliminary engineering for the project.
The council also accepted a grant to create four locations where visitors and locals can enjoy Depoe Bay’s unparalleled scenic beauty at several walking sites between Sunset and the Whale Park. Acquired some years ago, there are small pieces of real estate along the sidewalk north of the Whale Park up to Sunset. Enhanced landscaping and some minor benches, pathways and picnic table type additions to the ocean viewing areas are contemplated. Construction is not expected to begin until next Spring with completion within a month after that.
And the council held further discussions on how best to provide emergency food, medicines, shelter, equipment, water and other items in the event of a Cascadia Subduction Zone Earthquake. Mayor AJ Mattila suggested the city council should gear up to provide enough supplies for the whole town. But others said the city doesn’t have that kind of money to put out for such an undertaking. In the end, they all agreed that using big shipping containers full of emergency supplies would be the way to go. However, based on the cost of doing that, they decided to “work on it” as money allows.