PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Twenty people dipped their toes into the Willamette River Friday morning at Audrey McCall Beach, the second beach to open along the banks of the Willamette in downtown Portland this year.
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler was on hand at the debut of the new beach on the east side of downtown.
The Audrey McCall Beach — a 100-yard span of rocky river beach south of the Hawthorne Bridge is the culmination of 4 years of quiet work removing 19 tons of concrete to open another avenue for people in Portland to access the river. Audrey McCall was the wife of Oregon Gov. Tom McCall, whose vision helped redevelop the entire Portland waterfront.
Willie Levenson of the Human Access Project credits Portland General Electric with cleaning some contaminants from the area and he says Audrey McCall Beach will build on momentum of Poet’s Beach opened this past summer on the other side of the river.
“The Willamette is Portland’s largest public open space,” Levenson said. “In Portland we’re all about quality of life issues. Portland is about to become a lot more fun and we’re living up to this reputation of being great.”