Hillsboro's 69th Avenue to close at Rock Creek
A major traffic change is coming to Hillsboro's Orenco neighborhood this month.
A bridge on Northeast 69th Avenue is being replaced as part of a joint project between the City of Hillsboro and the Washington County Department of Land Use & Transportation. As a result, the road will be closed where it crosses Rock Creek from Aug. 15 until mid-2020.
Construction crews will remove the existing timber bridge. It will be replaced with a single-span concrete bridge, which will be wider and able to bear more weight.
In September 2016, the city reduced the bridge to one lane of travel and restricted the weight of vehicles crossing it to 13 tons. That was an interim solution to the bridge's deficiencies. Replacing the bridge is meant to be a permanent fix.
The project has an estimated $3.5 million price tag, which is paid for through the Washington County Road Fund in partnership with the City of Hillsboro.
The county will hold an open house to share construction details and receive public feedback from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 14, at the Unitarian Universalist Community Church at 6815 N.E. Birch St.
According to the county, 69th Avenue is expected to reopen next May, although construction timetables can shift depending on weather and other factors.
Northeast 69th Avenue connects Old Orenco with Northeast Quatama Street. Quatama Street intersects with Northeast Cornelius Pass Road, then accesses the Quatama MAX Station, a stop on the MAX Blue Line, before terminating at Southwest 205th Avenue.
A detour route will be set up for motorists to get around while 69th Avenue is closed. East Main Street crosses Rock Creek south of the 69th Avenue bridge, connecting Northeast Century Boulevard and Cornelius Pass Road.
Northeast 69th Avenue was named 227th Avenue prior to being renumbered in 2017 to fit with Hillsboro's own street naming system, rather than the numbering associated with Portland.
In Portland, north-south streets receive a higher number the further they are from the Willamette River. That numbering scheme extends all the way to the Cornelius area in the west and the Sandy area in the east, as evidenced by street names like Northwest 345th Avenue and Southeast 422nd Avenue.
Hillsboro's numbered streets also run north-south. Hillsboro street numbers get higher the further east they are, starting at First Avenue.
First Avenue runs through downtown Hillsboro, with major government buildings like the Hillsboro Civic Center, the Washington County Courthouse, the Charles D. Cameron Public Services Building, the Washington County Jail, and Hillsboro Fire & Rescue's main station standing on either side of the street. The MAX Blue Line also terminates at the Mark O. Hatfield Government Center Station, in between South First and Southwest Adams avenues.
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