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PORTLAND - It's the end of an era for a controversial BMX track in Northeast Portland.

This week, the unsanctioned track was plowed over following concerns it was destroying the environment and putting lives at risk.

BMX riders built the track on land owned by The Grotto, a 62-acre Catholic sanctuary and botanical garden.

The Grotto cited liability issues as one of the reasons it took out the track.

It s devastating news for BMX rider Chris Tate who had helped maintain the trails for years. BMX riders first built the track back in 1997. It was even featured on an ESPN website.

But in recent years, some neighbors had expressed concerns about all the activity and the damage it was doing to the trees and potentially to the kids riding the bikes.

There's a liability there, people getting hurt or whatever else may happen, said Jennifer Harrington who lives near the former track.

Some other neighbors felt the BMX trails actually helped the neighborhood by keeping transients and crime out of the park.

I m really disappointed that they're doing this, this was a positive thing they were doing in this park. It kept young guys out of trouble and they were in there as a team working hard creating something together, said Tricia Beck who lives just a few houses down from the site.

There was no word yet on what the Grotto now planned to do with the area.

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