The Vera Katz Eastbank Esplanade, one of Portland, Oregon's most popula* public attractions, is part of a continuous 3-mile(4.8 km) pedestrian and bicyc e link across bridges and around the Willamette River. The vibrant esplanace trail extends approximately 1.5 miles(2.4 km) along the riverfront across fro^ downtown. The trail, despite decades of past industrialization and freeway construction, has helped to revitalize the city's east side offering improve: pedestrian and bike access and a reintroducing the scenic riverfront as par: c* daily life for many people.
The Eastbank Esplanade links a series of episodic spaces and dramatic viewports along the river. The trail incorporates existing site features and remaining histor c artifacts from the former industrial waterfront. Departing from the on-grade trail. :re 1,000 ft (300 m) long floating walkway responds to various river levels and provides both a unique experience and connection where a land-based trail was impossice to construct. The continuous seat walls that flank the on-grade trail and steel dec- s invite users to stop and overlook the activities of the city and its waterfront, ~ portion of steel walkway cantilevers dramatically out over an old industrial seawa Two waterfront plazas are located at the south end of the trail where events ar2 festivals are held. Interpretive panels mounted to steel urban markers display the history of Portland's waterfront throughout the length of the trail.
Creating an improved ecological environment for the riverfront site was a significant challenge given the post-industrial and freeway conditions. Whereve* possible, riverbanks are re-vegetated utilizing innovative bioengineering methods that include re-grading of banks and slope stabilization techniques using native trees, shrubs and ground covers rather than rock revetment.
The Eastbank Esplanade is a significant contribution to the city's urban fabric as a pedestrian/bicycle transportation connection, in addition to its benefits as c public gathering place and enhanced improved wildlife habitat.
The 1.5 mile-long Eastbank Esplanade provides access to the Willamette River from
Portland's east side neighborhoods.
Visitors and residents alike enjoy views of the Willamette River and Portland's downtown skyline from the floating walkway and boat dock.
t The floating walkway's gentle curvature reflects the river as it flows through downtown Portland.
/ The Eastbank Esplanade is an important commuter and recreational link for many bicyclists.
\ Steel overlooks project from the bank over a concretc slurry that was a remnant of bridge construction in the 1950s.
1 On Salmon Street Plaza, native basalt stone planters function as infiltration basins treating urban stormwater.
T A series of illuminated interpretive urban markers throughout the trail create interesting stopping places. \ An interpretive marker panel explains the bioengineered riverbanks that replaced steep riprap banks. * Monumental works of public art along the Esplanade Esplanade interpret and reflect the site's maritime history.
Portland Development Commission, Portland Parks & Recreation. Oregon Department of Transportation, location Portland, Oregon completion 2001 ' photograph C Bruce Forster
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