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'Picnic on the Bypass' tentatively slated for September as completion of the first phase of the thoroughfare set for later in the year

Newberg and Dundee residents curious about the progress of the Newberg-Dundee bypass will soon get an opportunity to view the thoroughfare up close without taking their lives into their hands.GARY ALLEN - The Wynooski Street overpass was completed in July, allowing work on the final stretch of the bypass to continue.

Lou Torres, a spokesman for the Oregon Department of Transportation, confirmed last week that the department, in conjunction with the Yamhill County Parkway Committee, will hold an "informal" event in September, a few months before the first phase of the bypass is scheduled to be christened with a ceremony in December.

"A lot of the details need to be worked out," Torres said. "The (committee) asked ODOT to be at its last meeting to discuss the ribbon cutting. When we mentioned the informal event, it was the first time we discussed it in public."

Torres said the event is tentatively scheduled to occur between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Sept. 23 and be called "Picnic on the Bypass."

"The event would allow interested citizens to visit the bypass, bring a lunch and walk, stroll or bike along the newly-constructed roadway."

What attendees will actually see there remains to be seen.

"We don't know how much of the road will be available to visitors, but most of it should be paved by then," Torres said. "We hope to have some stations set up for kid's activities, food and refreshments and informational displays. … But the bottom line is that the community will have a chance to explore the bypass before we allow vehicles on it."

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