North Bend resident Rob McFall was an integral part of the BMX bike component at Torguson Park. Seventeen years ago he built the original bike track to be a legal spot for BMX riders and racers in the Snoqualmie Valley.
Over the years he’s poured hours into the popular track and it became so much more. Starting this summer, a new vision will be realized when the Torguson Park gets a big revamp.
McFall said via email, “I’ve seen kids grow up on that bike track, improving skills and maturing as people. I’ve seen kids go from learning how to ride to becoming a nationally ranked racers.”
And the community cares about the bike park, too. Rob said he’s seen firsthand community members band together to clean up the park after a massive natural gas explosion leveled an adjacent strip mall three years ago – and kids team up to build new jumps and pick up trash to keep it looking nice.
A big piece of the puzzle in the impending transformation of the BMX Bike park is the partnership between the City of North Bend and Si View Metro Parks.
Rob said when Si View assumed maintenance of Torguson Park, SVMP Director Travis Stambaugh really heard his vision for the bike park, and is making it better than he ever could have imagined. The revamped Bike Park will be a spot for riders of all skill levels and all styles of riding – from BMX to Mountain bikers.
Stombaugh said Torguson Park’s new design development is about 50% complete, and the current timeline would put groundbreaking around August.
Torguson Park improvements include a new bike park that includes skill levels ranging from beginner, with a separate strider park to intermediate/advanced; trail and landscape improvements, including wetland restoration; a few parking stalls, benches, improvements to the southwest entrance to Torguson Park; and demolition of the old bathrooms that were damaged during the explosion of the adjacent property.
So far Stombaugh said the design shown at a November public meeting is staying pretty true to the concept, with the only modifications happening where the public gave input – or where it made practical sense.
Project funding is also a community effort, coming from Si View Parks, the City of North Bend, a King County Youth Sports Facilities Grant and the Si View Community Foundation. The Mount Si Mountain Bike Club has pledged volunteer hours to satisfy some of the KCYSF Grant.
McFall described re-designed bike park as becoming a ‘gateway’ into Torguson Park. As the new Phoenix Plaza building goes up on the former explosion site along North Bend Way, this park entrance point will be greatly improved, with a new path and more visibility and access to North Bend’s downtown core. [Shown in below photo.]