September 2022 Road News

Area road projects roundup

We asked LUT Public Affairs and Communications Manager Melissa De Lyser for an update on the various road projects in progress or scheduled for the roads we travel.

Cornell Road between 102nd and 113th avenues

The project includes widening to three lanes (one in each direction with a center turn lane), buffered bike lanes, and eight-foot-wide sidewalks.

The project is in construction. Lane closures were revised as of September 1 to 8:30 am-3 pm. Completion is expected August 2023 (subject to change). The cost (2021 estimate) of the entire project is $13.1 million which includes additional work for Clean Water Services’ storm drains. It is funded through the Major Streets Transportation Improvement Program (MSTIP) 3e//. Visit the website for more details, links to past meetings, etc.

Filbert Street Pedestrian & Biking Improvement

Filbert Street doesn’t have continuous sidewalks even though many pedestrians use it to get from one end of Cedar Mill to the other. The county will build a new sidewalk, with ADA-compliant curb ramps, along the south side of the street, between Saltzman and Murray.

The design is complete; right-of-way (ROW) acquisition has not yet started. Construction is expected to take place summer-fall 2023 (subject to change).

Funding is through the State Gain Share program and House Bill 2017 and is estimated (2020 estimate) at $1.3 million. The Filbert Street Pedestrian Improvement Project was selected for funding based on public requests and the need for a safe pedestrian route.

A Construction Kickoff/Meet the Contractor event will be scheduled once ROW acquisition is complete. An online Open House was held in 2020. It’s no longer open for comment but includes background and other information. The project website includes more information.

Thompson Road improvements

Thompson Road between Saltzman and Marcotte will be widened to include a center turn lane, sidewalks, and bike lanes. Design is pending, dates for public comments will be set once the design schedule is determined

Cost (2022 estimate) is estimated at $6.6 million and will be funded through the MSTIP Bonding Cost-sharing program and Bonny Slope West Transportation Development.

Construction is expected summer 2024-fall 2025 (subject to change). Learn more here.

Thompson Road Realignment (Kenny Terrace)

thompson alignment map

Thompson will be realigned on the existing Kenny Terrace, to eliminate the two 90-degree turns that exist now. Design is complete; ROW acquisition has not yet started. A Construction Kickoff/Meet the Contractor event will be scheduled once ROW acquisition is complete. Construction is currently expected to occur summer 2023-summer 2024 (subject to change).

The project cost (2021 estimate) is $6.5 million which comes from the MSTIP Bonding Cost-sharing program. Learn more here.

Walker and Murray intersection

A complete redesign will include dual left-turn lanes and dedicated right-turn lanes at all four sides of the intersection; a third southbound lane on Murray Boulevard south of Butner Road to south of Walker Road, which will become a dedicated right-turn lane at Bowerman Drive into the Nike campus. Two bridges over Cedar Mill Creek and two culverts on Walker Road, between Far Vista Street and Park Way, will be constructed.

Right-of-way acquisition and permitting is under way. Construction is expected to begin summer 2023 and continue to summer 2025 (subject to change). A Construction Kickoff/Meet the Contractor event will be held prior to construction.

Total cost (2019 estimate) is $31 million, funded through MSTIP 3d and 3e and utility reimbursements. Learn more here.

A separate project will widen Walker Road between Schendel Avenue and Butner Road to five lanes—two travel lanes in each direction and a center turn lane, with continuous bicycle and pedestrian facilities. Storm drainage will be upgraded, and additional street lighting will be installed. Utility relocation is currently underway, requiring some tree removal. PGE will begin installing the new poles and utility lines in September. A Construction Kickoff Open House in November will provide construction schedules and other information about the project. Sign up on the Project page for updates.

Saltzman Road north end

Saltzman West Plan

Saltzman Road is a two-lane urban collector serving a rapidly growing community north of Laidlaw. The existing road alignment has narrow lanes and a sharp turn, without adequate bike and pedestrian facilities. We will build a bridge to connect Saltzman Road, between Bayonne Lane and Laidlaw Road, at 130th Avenue. The bridge will have one travel lane in each direction with a center turn lane at the north end and will have bike lanes and sidewalks.

Cost (2022 estimate) is $19.5 million. Currently there is $6.5 million in the MSTIP and Bonny Slope West Transportation Development funds for the project. Additional funding will be needed, source TBD.

The project is in the design phase, but there is no date for construction pending the additional funding. The final design will inform the actual cost.

A Project Advisory Committee met several times between August 2020 and December 2021 and concluded with the recommendation to select the Western Alignment, which was adopted by the County Board in June 2021.There will be a public comment opportunity in spring 2023. Learn more on the county website.

Part of the point of selecting the Western Alignment is to enable Saltzman eventually to connect northward on the 130th alignment. An expedited proposal for a 23-lot subdivision, Deer Fern Ridge, has just been submitted to LUT by Riverside Homes, with no intention of improving the gravel section of 130th that would be the logical way to get to the development from Laidlaw. CPO 7 has sent a letter to LUT requesting funding for the gravel section to be addressed as a condition of approval for this project.

According to CPO 7 member Mary Manseau, “Expedited proposals have a condensed timeline and the applicant has to agree that homes will be sold or leased to homeowners earning below 120% of the median family income in Washington County.  A quick search looks like families making up to $104,000 would qualify. It was driven by a change in state law–see ORS 92.010 et al.  Other jurisdictions seem to be more on top of this than Washington County.”

Sidewalk ‘ponding’ issues corrected by Washington County

Ponding at the second location. Photo by Jeff Petrillo

Crews from Washington County Department of Land Use & Transportation have addressed ponding issues on sidewalks on the north side of Cornell Road near Sunset High School.

Ponding at the bottom of the sidewalk ramp on the northwest corner of the Cornell Road and Trail Avenue intersection was corrected in early July. When the sidewalk ramp was first installed, it was flush with the road surface. After the road was repaved as part of regular maintenance, the surface was slightly higher—just enough to prevent water from draining off the ramp. Crews were able to re-shape the surface to allow water to drain around the corner.

The second location was across from Sunset High School. Ponding was occurring on part of the sidewalk that abuts the wide shoulder near the bus stop. The shoulder area collects sediment, leaves and other material that broke down over time, preventing drainage on and near the sidewalk. Crews leveled the area in mid-August to address the issue.

“Staff will check these locations as we head into the rainy season,” said Todd Watkins, Manager, LUT Operations and Maintenance Division. “We’ll make other adjustments, if needed, to address any future ponding issues.”

To report road-related issues, complete a Request a Road Service form. For driver-related concerns, such as speeding, complete a Washington County Sheriff’s Office Traffic Complaint Report form.

Community meeting on fire gate removal

Thursday, September 22, 7-9 pm, online: register here

A temporary fire gate at Ridge and McDaniel roads will be removed this fall by Washington County. Department of Land Use & Transportation (LUT) staff will host a virtual community meeting to provide neighbors an opportunity to ask questions and share concerns.

The temporary fire gate removal was requested by some residents to better distribute traffic between Blackhawk Drive and Ridge Road. The gate was always intended to be temporary—it was installed only because of a sight distance restriction on Ridge Road looking north on McDaniel.

When properties on the north side of the intersection were developed, the sight distance issue was corrected. County Traffic Engineering staff conducted a full evaluation in 2021. Staff confirmed that the intersection has adequate stopping distance and that the gate can be removed. See Traffic Engineering conclusions.

A homeowners’ association in the area hired traffic engineering consultant ETRC, LLC, to conduct an independent engineering study. That study arrived at essentially the same conclusions as the County traffic engineering study.

Community outreach regarding the fire gate removal started in late 2019. LUT mailed postcards to 273 addresses in the area (see map) asking for feedback. Staff received 132 responses from 94 unique addresses. Of those, 57 said yes; 38 said no. (57+38=95 because one address is counted in both yes and no!) See Community Outreach for more data.

Cornelius Pass Road Bridge project receives grant

Washington County’s Cornelius Pass Road Bridge over Rock Creek project was awarded $3.41M in Local Bridge Program funds by the Oregon Local Agency Bridge Selection Committee.

The existing bridge was built in 1946 and is not designed to handle freight traffic. It will be replaced with a single-span bridge with two travel lanes and wide shoulders. Design is in progress; construction is expected to start in 2024 and finish in 2025.

When complete, the bridge will be transferred from Washington County to the Oregon Department of Transportation. The remainder of Cornelius Pass Road from US 26 to the Multnomah County line is already under ODOT’s jurisdiction.

Other road projects

Concrete repair will require lane closures at the Springville /Kaiser Road intersection from September 6-16. Visit the county’s Transportation Improvement Projects page to see projects in-progress and planned.