Transportation Bond Projects Continue to Advance

21
Rendering of the Garden Corner Curves improvements in progress at 108th at Blake, looking northeast. CITY OF TUALATIN/COURTESY

Tualatin’s 2018 transportation safety bond program continues to make progress toward safer pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure, with a recent string of project completions now in the books. 

The $20 million bond program is funding 25 separate small projects ranging from simple new crosswalks to those that include roadway, pedestrian and bicycle lane improvements or additions. On Sept. 28, the Tualatin City Council was given a progress report showing the work done on seven different projects that are in various stages of completion. 

A year ago, City officials provided the Council with a bus tour that took Councilors to a variety of projects in person. This year, however, COVID-19 took that option off the plate. 

“Last year about the same time, we were on a bus and it was pretty darn fun,” Tualatin Public Works Director Jeff Fuchs told the Council. “The world has changed a teeny bit this year.” 

The highlight of this year’s virtual tour was the single largest project of the bond program, both in terms of the size of the project area, as well as the price tag. The $3.57 million Garden Corner Curves project stretches from SW 105th Avenue at Morotoc Drive to SW 108th Avenue at Willow Street, passing its namesake Garden Corner nursery along the way at a sharp S-shaped curve in the road. 

“We’re very excited that construction has now begun,” said City program analyst Kelsey Lewis. “Some work will get done this fall, we’ll have a pause for this winter, and it will start up again and be completed next year.”

CITY OF TUALATIN/COURTESY

Construction at the Garden Corner curves will include new roadway improvements, new sidewalks, new pedestrian crossings and new bicycle lanes on a dangerous stretch of road that has seen numerous automobile crashes in recent years. 

“There is no room for bypass and pedestrians have a very dangerous time coming through this corner,” Fuchs said. 

Crews from Brothers Concrete Cutting out of Albany recently began breaking up old pavement to make way for stormwater drainage improvements, with other work set to follow shortly. 

Lewis said traffic would be restricted through this stretch of road into next year as crews tackle various phases of work. This is partly due to high traffic counts in the area, which include as many as 15,000 vehicles per week passing through the area. 

“It’s a really tight corridor,” she said. “There’s a lot of traffic control, a lot of flagging trying to maintain orderly calmness during construction.” 

One of the other high-profile projects currently reaching the finishing stages is in front of Tualatin High School on Boones Ferry Road. At the south end of the school campus crews are wrapping up a new pedestrian crossing with flashing signals and new sidewalks decorated with custom art created for the bond program. 

Other projects reviewed at the Sept. 28 meeting include: 

  • Tualatin-Sherwood Road improvements between Martinazzi Avenue and Interstate 5. This project is still in the design phase. 
  • A new pedestrian crossing across SW Nasoma Lane at the Marquis assisted living facility off Boones Ferry Road. Work has been completed there. 
  • The new pedestrian crossing across SW 90th Avenue at the Kaiser Permanente hospital. Work is just about finished on this project. 
  • A new signalized pedestrian crossing across SW 90th Avenue at Sweek Drive. Work recently wrapped up on this project. 
  • The new pedestrian crossing on SW Tualatin Road at SW 112th Avenue. This project also just finished up. 

For more information on the Tualatin Moving Forward bond program check out the City’s website: www.tualatinmovingforward.com