Link between Canyon and Hall to be completed by year's end

by: TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Construction has begun to extend Rose Biggi Avenue through to Westgate Drive that will connect Canyon Road and Hall Boulevard.The first chunks of dirt and parking lot asphalt are moving on a long-planned project to extend the truncated Rose Biggi Avenue north to Westgate Drive to create a direct vehicular passage between the congested Southwest Hall Boulevard and Canyon Road thoroughfares.

Excavating work is underway on the $2.5 million project, which will stretch the two-lane Rose Biggi Avenue north past the barrier, just west of The Round at Beaverton Central, where the street effectively ends.

The extension, which includes 10-foot-wide sidewalks, curbs, gutters and streetlamps, requires replacing a bridge crossing Beaverton Creek and raising the street by 3-and-a-half feet to accommodate 100-year floodplain standards.

The existing narrow road closed to through traffic will be realigned with Westgate Drive on the creek’s north side for a more direct route toward the signaled intersection of Westgate at Hall Boulevard.

The work is part of the city’s Creekside District revitalization project, a comprehensive re-imagining of property between Canyon Road and Hall Boulevard centered by The Round complex.

“The idea is to increase connectivity to downtown and to enhance redevelopment opportunities anywhere in that area,” said Peter Arellano, the city of Beaverton’s public works director.

If work proceeds as planned — and spring, summer and fall weather cooperate — lead contractor Carter and Co. could complete the project by the end of 2014.

“The contractor that won the project (bid) told us it is their expectation to be complete by the end of this calendar year,” Arellano said, noting the contract allows for construction through fall 2015. “We have our doubts, but certainly welcome their ability to do so.”

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality’s waterway-protection regulations limit bridge construction to between July 1 and Oct. 1.

“They want the creek to be at its lowest stage to minimize construction effects on the creek,” Arellano noted.

The street extension project was planned to begin about a year ago, but ran into delays over negotiations with the Biggi family, whose two-story BG Plaza office building the new road will skirt immediately to east. Including new curbs, gutters and sidewalks, the new Rose Biggi Avenue will eliminate about 10 of the building’s parking spaces.

“We wanted to do (property right-of-way acquisition) in a manner that didn’t offend the people we are acquiring property from,” Arellano said of the appraisal and negotiation process involving Dominic Biggi, the building’s owner. “We settled those property acquisitions as amicably as possible. But it created a whole year delay.”

The city spent a total of $1.3 million to acquire property in the path of the street’s extension route, and $800,000 on the project’s design. In addition to the Biggis, the city purchased right-of-way property from Goodwill Industries, the Gray family and owners of the Hall Street Bar and Grill.

Although the new, improved Rose Biggi Avenue won’t have bike lanes, Arellano indicated the street should safely accommodate pedestrians and bicyclists in addition to vehicles that will likely use the passage as an alternative to north-south streets such as Cedar Hills Boulevard and Southwest Hocken Avenue.

“The 10-foot-wide sidewalks will encourage pedestrian walking,” he said. “This is very similar to the feel of Millkan (Way) between Watson and Rose Biggi Avenue, with low-speed traffic movements. Bicycles should be comfortable mixing with car traffic.”

As with most projects in the Pacific Northwest, completion before January 2015 will depend upon weather patterns between September and December.

“If we have a fall and winter like last year,” Arellano said, “there’s a chance it could be done.”

Contract Publishing

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