2020 was a year of construction in Tualatin when it comes to transportation and pedestrian safety.
City of Tualatin Public Works Director Jeff Fuchs briefed the city council on Dec. 14 about the year’s accomplishments, which included no fewer than 10 separate projects completed and eight more starting the construction process. All of them were built as a part of the $20 million Tualatin Moving Forward bond measure, which was approved by voters in 2018. Since then, it has resulted in 14 completed projects, but 2020 was really when the program gained momentum.
Of the 10 projects completed in 2020, the most prominent is probably the improvements made on Southwest Boones Ferry Road at Tualatin High School. There, a mid-block crossing with a pedestrian refuge now allows students and pedestrians to safely cross a busy stretch of road, while sidewalk improvements line both sides of the road. New pavement along that stretch of the road was also laid during construction, even though it was paid for under the City’s pavement maintenance program.
“That’s going to be really awesome when the high school is back in session,” Fuchs said. “With this location, with the higher speed traffic, it makes a lot of sense.”
Deputy City Manager Megan George said the City would be trying different forms of public outreach in the coming year when it comes to informing residents about ongoing and future projects. The City’s Community Involvement Organizations will play a bigger role, as will online and other virtual forms of communication.
“A lot of the techniques we’ve leaned on in the early stages of the program, like kitchen table meetings and door hangers, aren’t things we want to do right now given how the world has changed,” George said. “We’ve spent a lot of time curating this list and figuring out which items are the most impactful depending on the project.”
This effort is already in motion with the Garden Corner Curves project at Southwest 108th Avenue, the single largest project of the entire initiative in terms of scope of work and cost. There, crews began construction in August and prepared a road shut down during parts of January and February after PGE finishes installing underground power lines. For road closures, the City is trying to keep residents in the loop as much as possible.
It’s a wintertime dry run for our summertime closure next July through October,” Fuchs said.
The work is paying off, as councilors praised the ongoing public engagement efforts.
“I think this has always been the gold standard for community projects,” said Councilor Nancy Grimes. “I think it’s one of the best things we’ve done as a council in a number of years, from the thoughtfulness to the way the community can be involved continuously.”
Mayor Frank Bubenik also noted that Tualatin Moving Forward has been well received by officials in other communities.
“What I particularly get from feedback from mayors in other cities is they are pretty envious with how it’s going,” Bubenik said. “They look at it as a model to emulate in how well it has been run and the community feedback involved.”
For a complete look at the 2020 Tualatin Moving Forward Annual Report visit: www.tualatinmovingforward.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/TMF-Annual-Report-2020.pdf.