OREGON CITY, Ore. -- It’s a project that promises to bring in visitors and create jobs.
“I hope it brings in lots of tourists,” said Karen Castillo, owner of the restaurant Mesa Fresca.
Just about everyone in Oregon City has heard about a Riverwalk being planned for Willamette Falls.
“Something as large, as that project probably will be, will just bring more business down here,” said Castillo. “So as a business owner it makes me very excited.”
The Willamette Falls Legacy Project revealed their designs Wednesday. A vacant paper mill will become a scenic pathway to a wonder of nature.
“When we drive over the bridge it is not much to look at right now,” said Resident Teresa Clancy. “But when it is done it will be even more beautiful.”
The plans show how shops and restaurants will nestle between original industrial structures. It will be a blend of the new and the historic and open Willamette Falls up to the public for the first time in 150 years.
”People will gain a sense of Oregon's history,” said Carlotta Collette of Metro Council District 2. “This really is the birthplace of Oregon and in some ways the birthplace for the entire West Coast.”
The area closest to the mists of the falls is right where the first ever long distance electrical transmission took place in 1889. People we talked to say they are glad to see Oregon City innovating and leading again.
“To bring that sparkle back to Oregon City,” said Castillo. “To have people understand what this city really means and the history behind it I think that would be incredible.”
Construction is expected to begin next year. The first phase is expected to be completed in 2022. You can take a look at the designs yourself this Saturday at an event at OMSI from 1-5 p.m.