Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

By Garth Meyer
Gazette Reporter 

Palouse river trail plan takes turn


June 20, 2019

The City of Palouse awaits a Shoreline Substantial Development permit from the Washington State Department of Ecology before going out to bid on a revamped plan for trail work along the river to be paid for by a county .09 fund grant.

Palouse received the $26,530 grant last year.

Last September, Palouse city administrator Kyle Dixon sought out five area contractors in an informal bid process to gauge what it would cost to build an estimated 500-foot long trail along the river – across from downtown.

“The scope of the work has changed,” Dixon said, after contractors could not give a solid estimate due to the terrain along the river.

Instead, the plan now is to create two pathways to the river from Shady Lane, a dirt road through the trees up the riverbank. The paths would be about 100 feet apart. At the end of each pathway will be concrete pad areas with seating – measurements and other details not finalized.

The city now is taking comment on the proposed project until June 29.

The specific paths of each trail are not yet set.

“We'll get to the areas that make sense,” Dixon said, citing the steep slopes along the river.

After the city's public input period, the Department of Ecology will allow for further comment.

Ultimately, if all is approved, the project may go out to bid and be built by the end of summer or early fall.

“That is the plan,” Dixon said. “We would like to begin by the end of July.”

Early in 2018 the Chris Boyd family of Palouse donated to the city an eighth-mile long, 50 to 70 foot wide strip from the riverbank up the hill to Shady Lane – the path is featured in the hay ride part for Haunted Palouse each October.

The strip begins at the South River Road bridge at the east end of Main Street, and ends at the footbridge, which spans the river across from the Post Office.

The city's original plan was to make a four to six foot wide walking trail along the bank, along with a possible picnic area.


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