Cost of Building Sidewalks vs Extended Shoulders vs Trails

The Cost of Pedestrian Facilities in SW Portland was evaluated by City of Portland staff December 2013 – January 2014. The results of the evaluation was communicated to SW Trails PDX.

Six recent infill sidewalk projects on one side of streets totaling 13,449 linear feet cost $7,574,065 for a cost of $563 per linear foot.

Sidewalk

Sidewalk

In 2013 SW Maplewood Rd. was outfitted with enhanced shoulders. This was done in connection with a project to improve the handling of storm water. 2,340 linear feet of enhanced shoulders cost $207,789 for a cost of $89 per linear foot.

Extended shoulder as an alternative to a sidewalk

Extended shoulder as an alternative to a sidewalk

In 2013 the parks department built a 48 inch wide compacted gravel trail at Stephens Creek. The cost was $266 per linear foot.

In 2014 Friends of Woods Park built a 250 foot long trail with assistance from SWTrails.org who supplied surfacing gravel and Portland Parks & Recreation hauled away brush after removal. Twelve volunteers worked about 4 hours. Assuming a volunteer labor rate of $20/hour the cost was $3.8 per linear foot of trail.

volunteer built trail in Woods Park

volunteer built trail in Woods Park

At the same time volunteers worked eight man hours to install a 10 foot long, 4 foot wide, wooden bridge with guard rail and skid protection on 12”x12” blocks for footings. The cost of materials for the bridge was $350; with the same assumed volunteer cost as above this comes to about $50 per foot of bridge

volunteer built bridge in Woods Park

volunteer built bridge in Woods Park

Expressing the cost on a per mile basis may be more impressive:

  • Cap hwy 2011 est         about $21.7 million per mile,
  • 5 SW sidewalk jobs      about    $3    million per mile, and
  • extended shoulders     about   $0.5  million per mile, and
  • volunteer built trail      about   $0.02 million per mile.
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