Popular Eastbank Esplanade docks transferred to Portland Parks & Recreation

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Portland City Council unanimously agreed to transfer two docks commonly used for swimming, rowing and paddling activities along the Eastbank Esplanade to Portland Parks & Recreation during Wednesday’s meeting.

The Holman and Duckworth docks were previously owned by Prosper Portland and the Portland Bureau of Transportation, respectively. According to the ordinance summary, the transfer of ownership will open the Willamette River docks up to new recreational possibilities.

“Both the Holman Dock and the Duckworth Dock are able to provide recreational river access to the public, particularly for the use of small, non-motorized watercraft,” the ordinance reads. “The uses of the docks have included casual users as well as programmed uses by non-profit rowing clubs, universities and other groups that utilize the dock for launching crew shells, canoes, kayaks and similar non-motorized personal watercraft. These uses advance PP&R’s objectives of increased safe access to the Willamette River and are consistent with its proposed safety guidelines.”

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  • docks
    The Duckworth Dock (left) and the Holman Dock (right) are now property of PP&R. (City of Portland)
  • Swimming in the Willamette River off of the Kevin J Duckworth Memorial Dock. August 2020 (KOIN)
    Swimming in the Willamette River off of the Kevin J Duckworth Memorial Dock. August 2020 (KOIN)

Prosper Portland agreed to transfer ownership of the Holman Dock and $270,000 in restricted dock maintenance funds to PP&R at no cost. The money will fund the dock’s long-term maintenance, operation and stabilization costs. PBOT

By transferring the Duckworth Dock to PP&R, PBOT has agreed to decrease its budget by $10,000 for the 2024-25 fiscal year. PP&R, meanwhile, will request an additional $10,000 for dock maintenance. Annual operations for both docks are estimated to cost PP&R $145,953 per year.

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PP&R spokesperson Mark Ross told KOIN 6 News that the docks were transferred as part of the city’s efforts to better align its services. Ross said that PP&R is actively negotiating dock access agreements with the Oregon Department of Transportation. Once those negotiations are complete, the city will consider new public uses for the inner-city docks.

“No long-term plans can be considered until the terms have been agreed upon,” Ross said. “When that time comes, PP&R will work with community partners to plan any programming or features.”

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