Jackson County employee Bonnie Bemetz, left, and city of Medford employee Keith Howard sweep debris off the Bear Creek Greenway bike path near Talent after a grinder, left, leveled one of many bumps in that section of the route. - Jim Craven

Workers take rough spots out of Greenway

There was a whole lot of grinding on the Bear Creek Greenway Wednesday as workers tackled a particularly bumpy section through Talent.

Crews from the city of Medford ground down troublesome bumps that have been plaguing cyclists, and they'll continue working through today on 3.5 miles of the 18-mile bike and pedestrian path.

"We've been getting quite a bit of complaints about this section," said Jenna Stanke, Greenway coordinator.

Next week, county workers will patch the holes and cracks with new asphalt in a project that Stanke said will cost $6,000.

The goal is to remove the most dangerous bumps in the pavement to make it a safer trail, she said.

"It'll be smooth, but it will not be perfect," Stanke said.

During construction the 3.5 mile section from Valley View Road to Suncrest Road will remain open, though Greenway users are urged to exercise caution for the next two weeks.

After the repairs are made, county crews will make test plots to experiment with the best methods of root control to determine what works best — cutting, pulling or chemically treating roots that have grown under the asphalt.

Stanke said the county is studying all the possible methods because each involves risks. Destroying roots could damage trees and chemical treatments could pose problems along the creek.

Funding for the project comes from the Bear Creek Joint Powers Committee, which includes representatives from the cities of Central Point, Medford, Phoenix, Talent, and Ashland, as well as Jackson County. All those jurisdictions have some stake in Greenway management.

Stanke said the city of Medford is involved in the project because it has equipment that can grind down the bumps.

Greenway officials have recognized this section of the trail, roughly from Suncrest Road to Valley View Road, as one of the worst on the 18-mile route. The section is also one of the oldest, pocked with cracks and bumps.

Reach reporter Damian Mann at 776-4476 or

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