|Volume 6, Issue 7||
Science Park traffic tangle tackled
Employees of the businesses along Science Park Drive and Cedar Mill residents who commute via the adjacent stretch of Cornell should be relieved once a new road improvement project is completed this fall.
Washington County will install new traffic lights at the intersection that will be coordinated with the signal at Cornell and 143rd, to provide a much smoother traffic flow in all directions. A second left-turn lane will be added to Cornell at 143rd, and a lane will be added to 143rd to receive the traffic. The lanes will merge just north of the entrance to Mill Ridge. Additionally, a sidewalk will be built all the way from Cornell to the entrance of Terra Linda School on 143rd.
The estimated $4.3 million project is being partially funded by an infusion of $1 million from the State of Oregon’s Immediate Opportunity Fund (IOF). The fund was established by the Oregon Transportation Commission in 1988 to promote job retention and creation through construction and improvement of streets and roads. Columbia Sportswear has agreed to add at least 50 jobs and retain 636 jobs between now and the end of 2010, at their Cedar Mill facility. There is a penalty of $1,458 per job-not-created or retained should Columbia fail to meet its part of the agreement. We’re glad that Columbia is committed to staying in Cedar Mill!
Alex Sander, who has been the Project Manager on several road projects in the Cedar Mill area, including the Barnes/Cornell project, retired last month. But before he did, we asked him about the project.
How will the lights be coordinated?
Through traffic on Cornell will proceed in both directions through both signals. When Cornell through traffic is stopped, vehicles will enter from the side streets.
Has a new Project Manager been chosen to handle this project after your retirement? (We will miss you!)
Thanks for the good wishes. I will be retiring at the end of June, 2008. The construction project manager will be Al Girard.
What’s the construction schedule?
The project at Cornell/Science Park/143rd has been combined with the project at Murray/Highway 26 - Cornell. This combined project was advertised for bids in early June. If all goes well, the contract could be signed and the contractor at work by early August. The contractor will do the necessary widening and pour bases for the new signal poles at 143rd and Science Park, also at Murray and Science Park, then wait for the poles to arrive, which can easily take eight weeks. The poles would go up in November, cameras get turned on, signals get coordinated and the road re-striped. We hope to be completely finished by Nov. 30. The contracts call for the work at Murray to be substantially complete by August, 2009.
What is the expected impact on traffic during construction?
As with any roadway construction project, there will be inconveniences to local businesses and residents and the traveling public. At most times, the contractor will maintain two-way traffic during construction. Lanes may be closed at times, with flaggers, generally between the hours of 9:00 am to 3:30 pm weekdays
Has all the right-of-way been acquired?
On the Murray segment of the project, most right-of-way is acquired, and the county is completing right-of-way acquisition. On the Cornell/143rd/Science Park segment of the project, there is a minor amount of right-of-way needed, and the County is proceeding with acquisition.
Will the sidewalk on the east side of 143 extend all the way to the Terra Linda School entrance?
Yes, and the Operations Division may construct a further sidewalk extension north to NW Burton Street in 2009.
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