City unveils Tanner Trail project

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NORTH BEND - The city's Tanner Trail project might not have been an exercise in expediency, but the final product was worth the wait.

Proposed more than six years ago by former Mayor Fritz Ribary, the Tanner Trail pedestrian walkway project hit a milestone last week when city officials held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open the new stretch of trail along North Bend Way.

"I told staff I'd like to see this happen in my lifetime and we've done it," said Simpson.

The $130,000 project paved two new sections of the trail - one between Main Street and Bendigo Boulevard, and one between Park Street and Orchard Drive - that meanders through downtown North Bend.

North Bend Public Works Director Ron Garrow said nearly 95 percent of the project was funded through grants, including those from the Transportation Improvement Board and the Washington State Department of Transportation.

Officials have plans to extend the trail eastward to the city limits, said Garrow, but no time frame has been set for that portion of the project. Taking the trail to the city limits will involve the city acquiring right of ways and securing funding, he added.

In the six years leading up to the project's completion, numerous meetings were held regarding wetland issues, biological assessments and historical assessments, explained Simpson.

Once those obstacles were out of the way, said Garrow, the actual construction only lasted a couple of months.

Garrow said the city expects to complete the last of the landscaping on the project in September, and also will install benches in the two sections.

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