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Clackamas County's new registration fee will fund various projects, including thoroughfare east of Milwaukie

Adding a sidewalk, bike lanes and widening Johnson Creek Boulevard east of Milwaukie has emerged as the top transportation project for Clackamas County's new Community Road Fund program.

COURTESY PHOTO: GOOGLE MAPS - Johnson Creek Boulevard, seen here facing west from Bell Avenue, will be widened to three lanes and will get new bike lanes and a sidewalk.About 0.7 miles of Johnson Creek Boulevard between 55th and Bell avenues will get an approximately $6.8 million facelift as early as next year, thanks to a countywide vehicle registration fee going into effect in January. Starting in 2020, people will have to pay the DMV an extra $60 every two years as a pass-through fee to the county.

Johnson Creek Boulevard will be widened to three lanes, with new bike lanes on both sides and a sidewalk added on the north side, county officials said. An extensive list of projects were recommended by the Community Road Fund Advisory Committee for congestion relief projects, the Traffic Safety Commission for safety projects, and Transportation Maintenance for local road paving.

The advisory committee, made up of 15 community members, met six times since July. Members were charged with reviewing proposed transportation construction projects to relieve congestion and recommending project priorities to the Board of Commissioners.

The committee created criteria to identify the top priorities and schedule for projects that could be completed in the next eight to nine years. Criteria included spreading projects throughout the county, leveraging other funding sources, overlap with safety and paving projects, and other factors.

"The committee did an outstanding job," said County Commissioner Ken Humberston at a Nov. 12 policy session when the Board of County Commissioners made the approval. "What impressed me the most was the global thinking ... on the committee's part. They really looked at the big picture. It's a good example of how when we get community involvement on projects and (the public's) thoughts on things, that we can do a better job than just trying to do it all ourselves."

Other congestion relief projects to be completed include:

Canby-Marquam Highway/Lone Elder Road intersection — reconstruct; add turn lanes

Redland Road intersections at Ferguson Road and Bradley Road — add turn lanes

Stafford Road/Childs Road intersection — add turn lanes and signals

Stafford Road, Childs Road to Tualatin River — add paved shoulders

Welches Road, Highway 26 to Birdie Lane — add sidewalks and paved shoulders

Barlow Road/Highway 99E intersection — initial project scoping

Amisigger Road/Highway 224 intersection —- install traffic signal; add turn lanes

County officials say the first paving and safety projects will start as early as next summer.

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