The Salmonberry Trail Project is moving forward with the Rockaway Beach Connector (Phase 1) project. The Tillamook County Board of Commissioners signed a letter of support for the project during a meeting Wednesday, Jan. 27. The project is a multi-use bicycle and pedestrian project following 86 miles of restored Tillamook Bay rail right-of-way. The proposed route follows the Port of Tillamook Bay Railway and terminates in Banks.
Sarah Absher, director of the Tillamook County Department of Community Development, said during the meeting that the trail team is looking to pursue a grant from Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT).
“This is funding that is available for project development projects, capital improvement or construction improvement projects of existing infrastructure,” Absher said.
The Rockaway Beach Connector project will provide a critical link between residential areas, local businesses, the beach and other natural areas. The proposed trail is central to a larger system that builds off existing planning and recent ODOT investments at the Washington Street crossing in Rockaway Beach.
Tillamook County has been working on the trail for 10 years, Commissioner Erin Skaar said. The Rockaway Beach Connector will be used by visitors and residents.
“This is something that has been worked on a long time,” Vice-Chair David Yamamoto said. “There are so many people working behind the scenes to bring this to fruition.”
Yamamoto said the Salmonberry is a long trail that takes a lot of planning. Chair Mary Faith Bell said she is excited for the potential for families to go out and use the trail. She hopes in the next 10 years, the county will see this project come to life.