The city of Hillsboro is temporarily reducing the speed limit on three city streets around Intel's Ronler Acres campus as the company begins work on a massive construction project later this year.
Intel is planning an expansion of its D1X manufacturing plant near North Butler Street. Early work on the site is already under way, and the city plans to reduce speeds on portions of Shute Road, Century Boulevard and 53rd Avenue during construction.
Starting Tuesday, June 18, Northwest 53rd Avenue between East Main Street and Northeast Elam Young Parkway will drop from 40 miles per hour to 35 miles per hour. The Oregon Department of Transportation is considering permanently reducing the speed limit.
The city council approved the 53rd Avenue speed reduction earlier this year, and has said it plans to reduce Northeast Shute Road between Brookwood Parkway and Butler Street from 45 miles per hour to 35 miles per hour starting June 18, as well as Northeast Century Boulevard between Cornell Road and Butler Street
Under state law, only ODOT is able to permanently reduce a speed limit, but the city does have the authority to make temporary changes.
The Shute Road speed limit change is expected to last through 2021. The Century Boulvard and 53rd Avenue reductions could become permanent if ODOT gives the OK. Staff at the transit agency plan to evaluate the reduced speed limits over the next few years.
Intel plans to begin work on the construction this year. The first two stages of D1X plant were finished in 2013 and 2015. Both took years to build. A third expansion of the D1X facility of about the same size isn't expected to be finished for years.
Ronler Acres is widely considered one of the most advanced research manufacturing facilities in the world. Each new generation of the company's microprocessors is created there, then mass-produced at other facilities across the globe.
Intel officials have said they plan to work more closely with area neighbors than they have during previous construction projects on the campus. It hosted community meetings on the construction and has said it will bar dump trucks from using Butler Street and will build a wall around the facility, both in an effort to minimize noise during construction.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.