Wetlands parcel donated to city.
The state Department of Transportation's attempts to mitigate the disturbance of their construction work on the Interstate 5 bridge also will be felt in west Eugene, miles from the bridge.
Federal law required the department to provide some form of compensation for occupying federally protected park land for more than 180 days, and therefore the transportation agency agreed to sign over to the Eugene Parks Department a 60-acre plot of wetlands next to the Bertelsen Nature Park in west Eugene.
The Department of Transportation had intended to sell the parcel, which it originally bought for the proposed West Eugene Parkway.
Trevor Taylor, a supervisor with the city parks department, said the plot given to the city "was far in excess of what they were (legally) required to."
"They were over-accomodating," Taylor said. "(They) gave back (park land) that will be extremely valuable to the community."
Over the course of 14 years, ending in the late 1990s, the Department of Transportation spent about $6.2 million buying about 132 acres in west Eugene for the proposed parkway.
But faced with city opposition, the agency later scrapped the highway plan.
- Saul Hubbard,The Register-Guard