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Regional projects intended to improve safety, reduce traffic in East County

Metro regional government has put out a preliminary plan for transportation projects across the region — including several in East Multnomah County.

The work explores safety improvements, road repairs, new travel routes and more. While the projects are still in the planning phase, a potential 2020 Transportation Funding measure would allow Metro to move forward with several of the improvements.

The earmarked transportation corridors in East County include:

181st Avenue

Metro wants to make several improvements to the high-density north-south route, which had 68 serious injuries and fatalities occur along the corridor between 2007-2017.

Between Sandy Boulevard and Powell Boulevard, 181st would receive new sidewalks, crossings and lighting. A new roadway would serve as a connector between 172nd and 190th. A roundabout would be constructed at the intersection of 172nd and Foster; and the Highland Bridge over Johnson Creek and the Springwater Corridor Trail would be replaced.

The total cost for the improvements would be about $130 million.

185th Avenue

According to Metro, Southwest 185th Avenue carries up to 65,000 vehicles and more than 3,900 people in transit daily. There were 45 serious injuries and fatalities along the route from 2007-2017.

Metro wants to improve Bus Line 52, which runs along 185th, by improving operations, making enhancements to stations, and adding traffic signal priority. They want to build a bridge for the MAX Blue Line over 185th to reduce traffic and bus delays. The plans also highlight better pedestrian crossings at four locations to improve access for walking.

In the southern part of 185th Metro highlights intersection improvements between Alexander and Blanton, as well as the widening of the roadway between Kinnaman and Farmington.

The total cost is estimated at $220 million.


Metro has plans for almost $450 million in improvements along Burnside Street, highlighting projects from the Willamette River to east Gresham.

All along the route Metro wants to make bus enhancements for Line 20 to increase the speed and reliability of public transit.

The Gresham Transit Center would also receive access improvements, with sidewalks, crossings, bike facilities and a pedestrian plaza. Safety improvements within the city of Gresham would be sidewalk infill, crossings and better lighting.

162nd Avenue

The 162nd Avenue corridor connects schools, residential neighborhoods and commercial areas. It also has a North-South bus connection and access to the Powell Butte nature trails.

Metro wants to add sidewalks, crosswalks, medians and lighting along the route; widen the roadway to three lanes; add turn lanes, sidewalks, bike and stormwater facilities; and a bicycle/pedestrian undercrossing where 162nd passes under Interstate 84.

The project is estimated to cost $80 million.

Powell Boulevard

According to Metro, there have been 159 serious accidents and fatalities along Powell Boulevard from 2007-2017. The corridor is earmarked to receive $30 million in transportation improvements.

In East County that would result in the addition of a two-way curb-protected bikeway on the north side of Powell to connect downtown Gresham to the Powell Valley neighborhoods. It would also add a better intersection at Powell and Hogan to ease traffic congestion.

County construction

In addition to the Metro plans, Multnomah County also has several transportation projects on the horizon.

• 238th Drive Improvement Project — The work will increase lane widths to improve driver safety. There will be the addition of a shared path for walking and biking, and added capacity to the existing drainage system. The construction is scheduled for 2020.

• Stark Street Widening — The county will add sidewalks and bike lanes along Stark Street east of 257th Avenue. They will also add capacity to the stormwater system. The work will begin in the summer of 2021.

• Latourell Creek Bridge — The existing timber bridge will be replaced with a new 28-foot-wde concrete slab structure. The construction will begin in 2021.

• 267th Culvert Replacement — The county will replace the existing culvert on the north fork of Johnson Creek to improve fish passage. Construction will run from June through October of 2020.

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