A move by a member of Oregon's congressional delegation could result in upgrades to make one of the region's most notoriously dangerous intersections a little safer.
U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici announced last week that she had included in a bill passed by the House $25.6 million for projects in northwest Oregon. Among the so-called Community Projects designation in House Resolution 8294 are funding for transportation projects. The legislation will travel to the Senate for consideration.
Included in the package is $4 million in corridor safety and intersection improvements as part of the third phase of the Newberg-Dundee bypass, specifically the intersection of Highways 99W and 18 commonly known as McDougal's Corner, that would be meted to the Oregon Department of Transportation. Once complete, the intersection will represent the western terminus of the long-awaited bypass. The first phase of the project was completed several years ago and ODOT has begun preparations for construction of the second phase — from Highway 219 to Highway 99W at Rex Hill — in the next few years.
According to information from ODOT, the money from Congress would be used for safety improvements ranging from adding turn lanes to enhanced signing and pavement markings, as well as realigning the intersection entirely.
The intersection has long been identified by ODOT as a rural, high crash location. Although it is within a safety corridor and the has seen significant upgrades over the past two decades, the intersection continues to be the site of sometimes deadly traffic crashes.
"I'm grateful that the House approved funding I requested for 10 community projects that will make our communities stronger, safer and more equitable," Bonamici said in a release. "These projects, submitted by Oregonians, will help meet community needs while strengthening our economy. … I will continue working to get the funding for these projects over the finish line in the Senate."
Bonamici's office explained that that under the rules of the House Appropriations Committee, members of Congress can submit up to 15 community project funding requests during the fiscal year.
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