Seven days into an 11-day closure of two southbound lanes on Highway 217, as well as the southbound Hall Boulevard on-ramp, the Oregon Department of Transportation says plans to reopen the roadways by 5 a.m. Monday, Sept. 19, are on schedule.
"Crews are making good progress, reinforcing the highway shoulder on southbound OR 217 in Beaverton between Southwest Hall Boulevard and Southwest Scholls Ferry Road," the agency said in a statement updating the public on its progress. "We know that it is tough out there and we've seen some long back-ups throughout the area."
The shutdown of the southbound lanes and ramps between Southwest Hall Boulevard and Southwest Scholls Ferry Road is so ODOT can reinforce the freeway's shoulder.
The agency said work crews are continuing to remove shoulder material, and then rebuilding it to make a stronger base, with scores of dump trucks in line to haul away old pavement and add new topsoil.
"Crews are grinding the asphalt from the shoulder surface and removing soil before installing a layer of rock to create a solid base for the future auxiliary lane," ODOT stated. "The future auxiliary lane is starting to take shape near the southbound Oregon 217 on-ramp from Southwest Scholls Ferry Road." Right now, motorists who would normally use the southbound Hall Boulevard on-ramp are following a signed detour to Scholls Ferry Road in order to access a southbound Highway 217 on-ramp.
The goal of ODOT's extensive construction project is to add auxiliary lanes in both directions of Highway 217 between Southwest Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway (Highway 10) and Southwest Pacific Highway (Highway 99W).
Those lanes are ramp-to-ramp connections designed to "help reduce congestion by giving drivers more space and time to merge safely" in what ODOT says will save an estimated 73,000 travel hours each year once the improvements are in place.
Roadwork, which began in December 2021, will continue until sometime in 2025, according to agency officials.
Meanwhile, crews are working on the west side of Highway 217 as plans to construct a frontage road designed to replace the southbound Southwest Allen Boulevard and the Southwest Denney Road off-ramps move forward. Included in that project will be a new bridge over Fanno Creek.
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