People of Northwest Public Radio
New Public Access to Waterfall
Fri October 11, 2013
You Can See It! Willamette Falls Open to Public For The First Time in 100 Years
New plans for a former paper mill site south of Portland would allow public access to one of the largest waterfalls in the country for the first time in 100 years.
Willamette Falls is the second largest waterfall by volume in the country behind Niagara Falls. But for more than 100 years, the public hasn't had access to the falls because it's flanked by privately-owned paper mills. When the Blue Heron mill in Oregon City went bankrupt in 2011, it created an opportunity to restore public access to the waterfall. Tony Konkol is the community development director for Oregon City.
Konkol: "When you look at this site right now, it's very dense, industrial multiple eras of buildings on here. There's over 5,000 square feet of buildings and structures. It's hard to envision something else. So what we're trying to do is show people what the opportunities can be on the site.
Friday is the deadline for a private developer from Irvine, California to reach an agreement on buying the mill out of bankruptcy.
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