Even as the coronavirus pandemic has put so many things on hold, traffic improvement and neighborhood safety projects are continuing throughout Tualatin.
“There’s a ton of activity,” Public Works Director Jeff Fuchs told the City Council during a May 11 quarterly update on Tualatin Moving Forward, a local transportation improvement program that is being funded by a $20 million bond passed by Tualatin voters in 2018.
Construction is set to begin on several projects this summer.
One of them – which will include roadway, pedestrian and bike improvements at the Garden Corner Curves – moved forward during May 11 when the council authorized the city to spend $177,402 to purchase right-of-way and easements on 108th Avenue, Blake Street and 105th Avenue needed to build the nearly $3.6 million project. Work on the Garden Corner Curves is slated to begin in July and take about a year.
Other projects slated to begin in the coming months include:
- Midblock crosswalk and flashing beacons on Boones Ferry Road at Tualatin High School ($310,000)
- High visibility crosswalk, flashing beacons and other improvements on Grahams Ferry Road at Dogwood Street ($226,000)
- Flashing beacons at an existing crosswalk on Mohawk Street at the PGE campus ($40,000)
- High visibility crosswalks, flashing beacons and curb ramps on Borland Road near Bridgeport Elementary School ($80,000)
- Speed feedback signs on Martinazzi between Avery Street and Dakota Drive ($30,000)
- Midblock crosswalk on Nasoma Lane at Marquis Assisted Living ($80,000)
Councilor Bridget Brooks said Tualatin Moving Forward’s progress during the pandemic is “encouraging.”
“Of all the silver linings in this COVID situation,” she said, “to have construction and things going on when traffic is light – to be able to build in efficiencies right now – is, at least, one piece of good news.”
While project planning, design and construction continues amid coronavirus, the pandemic has changed how Tualatin Moving Forward is communicating with the community.
“One of the things we did when COVID hit was pause and take a look at the way we were doing business,” said Megan George, assistant to the city manager. “We came up with a set of operating principles to inform how we approach continuing doing work. And one of those operating principles was to continue with public engagement in creative ways.”
To that end, the city has shelved pre-pandemic outreach efforts like open houses, in-person meetings and door hangers and have started using electronic surveys, webinars and virtual neighborhood meetings, among other things.
So far, five projects have been completed. Among them are buffered bike lanes and a crosswalk at Hazelbrook Middle School; driver feedback signs on Avery Street between Boones Ferry Road and Martinazzi Avenue; intersection upgrades and pedestrian-activated flashing beacons at Boones Ferry at Siletz Drive; and midblock crosswalks and flashing beacons on Sagert Street at Atfalati Park and Ibach Street at Ibach Park.
Councilor Paul Morrison was especially enthusiastic about the Ibach Street improvements, saying that there were “blind spots” that had posed a safety risk.
“You performed a miracle at the intersection of Ibach and Boones Ferry Road,” he said to Fuchs. “That has just been an amazing job that you did there at that intersection, and thank you very much.”
For More information on Tualatin Moving Forward projects or to suggest a project, go to www.tualatinmovingforward.com.