Anyone who has had the misfortune to walk down Southwest Laurelwood Avenue in Beaverton probably knows that segments of that treacherous road are in desperate need of a sidewalk.
The city hopes to make that a reality by the end of 2022.
The Beaverton City Council this week approved the final design for the Laurelwood Avenue Sidewalk Project, which intends to put a 5-foot-wide continuous sidewalk along one side of Laurelwood Avenue between Southwest Scholls Ferry Road and Apple Way.
The purpose of the project is to improve pedestrian safety and reduce crashes.
"I would suggest that council go down and walk there — it's a crazy street," Beaverton Mayor Lacey Beaty told fellow council members during a City Council meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 7.
Beaverton senior transportation planner Luke Pelz told councilors during a November 2020 meeting that the project was selected as a top priority in the city's 2018 transportation plan.
"The key attractors in the area (include) an elementary school, you have a park, you have a commercial area on the highway, and you also have apartments and other institutional uses in the area," he said in November.
The project is estimated to cost about $1.8 million. Washington County will contribute $640,000 toward the project, and the city will contribute $1.1 million.
In addition to adding a new sidewalk, the project will also add new street lights, planters and on-street parking.
The Beaverton City Council considered possibly going with a wider design but ultimately chose the 5-foot-wide standard design.
Councilors also discussed having more "context-sensitive" designs with future sidewalk projects, where some segments vary in width, depending on the location.
"We have to kind of do these sidewalk projects where we're building them out a little bit different in every neighborhood, because all the needs are different," Beaty said.
Construction of the new sidewalk will start next summer. It's expected to be finished in winter or fall of next year.
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