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City marches forward on Canyon Creek connector


by: SPOKESMAN PHOTO: JOSH KULLA - The Canyon Creek Road extension will punch its way through land currently owned by multiple interests, including Sundial Apartments, Wilsonville Lanes and Windfield Village. Whether land owned by Mentor Graphics will be included remains to be seen. The project will extend south from the portion of unfinished road shown here. The Wilsonville Urban Renewal Agency took another step toward completion of the long-awaited Canyon Creek Road extension Thursday, with agency members unanimously approving acquisition of nine separate pieces of land needed for street right of way.

The nine parcels are diminutive, ranging in size from two that are in excess of 3,200 square feet down to a chunk of land owned by the adjacent Windfield Village senior living facility measuring just 81 square feet. The right of way is needed to extend Canyon Creek Road south from its current terminus to Town Center Loop East.

“There will be nine different acquisitions for the Canyon Creek project,” Wilsonville Community Development Director Nancy Kraushaar told agency members Jan. 23. “It covers the section of full street improvements, but it does not touch on the Mentor Graphics site.”

The Wilsonville City Council doubles as the city’s urban renewal agency under state law. At a Jan. 6 meeting, the agency voted in favor of building the “full-street option” for the connector project, a $6.2 million plan that would add bike lanes, public sidewalks, complete street lighting and landscaping between Town Center Loop and the Renaissance at Canyon Creek neighborhood to the north. Money for the project is slated to come from the Wilsonville Year 2000 Urban Renewal District.

Crucially, this project is dependent on the good will of Mentor Graphics. The company is currently mulling a city request to donate a significant chunk of right of way on the west side of Canyon Creek Road. This would be used to construct both a new bicycle lane as well as vehicle travel lane.

City officials have met with counterparts from Mentor Graphics about the matter, and the company is still considering its options.

If the company ultimately declines to donate the needed property for the project, the city then plans to go ahead with a $4.4 million three-quarters option that would forego much of the three-lane roadway contained in the full-street option. It would also feature bicycle lanes running on both sides of the roadway between Town Center Loop East north to where the existing portion of Canyon Creek Road now ends in a barricade.

By contrast, the nine chunks of land the city now plans to purchase from Windfield Village, Wilsonville Lanes Bowling Alley and Sundial Apartments complex are mere filler. The city plans to immediately seek an appraisal on the involved properties, after which they will negotiate purchase prices with the respective owners.

City staff initially came to council last fall with a proposal for a much smaller half-street option lacking bike lanes and other amenities. It also came with a smaller price tag — $3.7 million.

But public input gleaned during a series of meetings and workshops changed their minds.

When complete, the extension will finally provide complete bike lanes from Town Center Loop to Ellison Road at the north end of the city. It would carry an estimated 5,000 to 7,000 vehicles per day and would also establish future connection points for undeveloped land to the west owned by Mentor Graphics.

“Depending on (Mentor Graphics’) level of participation, we’ll bring back some easements for you,” Kraushaar said. “It’s going to depend on the agreement with Mentor Graphics before you can act on future acquisitions.”