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Prepare for closure of Boones Ferry Road

Reconstruction planned for rail crossing that splits Lake Oswego from Tualatin


by: VERN UYETAKE - From Aug. 14 to 20, Boones Ferry Road will close between 63rd Avenue and Jean Way. The primary detour route will take drivers on Kruse Way to Interstate 5 and vice versa. A secondary detour will reroute traffic around the closure via Jean Way, Pilkington Road, Lakeview Boulevard and McEwan Road.Anyone who travels through the Lake Oswego's far west side is in store for some traffic headaches this month.

Starting Aug. 14, a stretch of Boones Ferry Road just east of Interstate 5 will close for almost a week for reconstruction of a railroad crossing. The closure will take place between Jean Way and 63rd Avenue through Aug. 20.

During that time, drivers are encouraged to avoid the area if possible. About 18,000 vehicles use that stretch of road each day, according to the city of Lake Oswego.

The primary detour route will take drivers on Kruse Way to Interstate 5 and vice versa. A secondary detour will reroute traffic around the closure via Jean Way, Pilkington Road, Lakeview Boulevard and McEwan Road.

The work includes replacing and raising the railroad tracks, repaving the roadway, installing new sidewalks and adding new stormwater drainage features.

Lake Oswego has planned to install sidewalks in that area — likely since around the time Bridgeport Village was built nearby, said Matt Tipton, Lake Oswego associate engineer.

With an uptick in pedestrian traffic, in part thanks to the development of stores, restaurants and attractions in the area, officials wanted to provide continuity between the cities of Lake Oswego and Tualatin.

“There’s no pedestrian crossing on either side,” Tipton said, “and we’re always trying to provide connectivity.”

Meanwhile, Portland and Western Railroad has long dealt with poor drainage at that location, he added, and this project provides an opportunity to rebuild the rails 6 inches higher.

But raising the tracks means raising the road to meet them, increasing the project’s scope. And so what began as an earnest effort to install some sidewalks grew into a much larger project involving a large group of public agencies.

“It’s an interesting spot: We’ve got Tualatin just on the other side, and Clackamas County owns part of that road as well,” Tipton said. “There have been many agencies involved in this.”

Lake Oswego paid $497,000 for its share of the work, although that figure doesn’t include staff time devoted to the project. In the end, Tipton said, Lake Oswego residents and their neighbors will have a much safer and smoother railroad crossing at the intersection, and pedestrians and cyclists will have an easier time traveling through the area.

“The work we’re doing is simple,” he said. “It’s just because of where it is, and with the railroad, the detour and the number of vehicles it makes it a bigger project. But sidewalks and storm lines are usually pretty easy to build.”

For information about the upcoming closure of Boones Ferry Road, call the city of Lake Oswego's construction hotline at 503-635-0261.




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