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Washington County could add a traffic signal north of Hillsboro city limits.

COURTESY MAP: WASHINGTON COUNTY - This map shows, at left, the intersection of Cornelius Pass and Germantown roads north of Hillsboro. (North is to the right on this map.)It's no secret that Northwest Cornelius Pass Road, north of Hillsboro city limits, needs some help.

A Multnomah County safety improvement project has Cornelius Pass Road closed north of Northwest Germantown Road. It's set to reopen next Friday, Oct. 18, but county officials now say they may have to close parts of the road again next year so they can finish work that isn't getting done this fall.

Multnomah County's project includes new signage along the route, plus adjustments to widen the shoulders and smooth out some curves at key points, including the T-shaped intersection with Northwest Kaiser Road and the junction with Northwest Eighth Avenue.

But it's up to Washington County to figure out how to fix the troubled "triangle" — a Y-shaped intersection where Cornelius Pass and Germantown roads meet, then an awkward X-shaped intersection between Cornelius Pass and Old Cornelius Pass roads immediately to its north. The county is indeed planning improvements through a $1.1 million road project, and it's soliciting public feedback now.

Neither the Germantown Road nor the Old Cornelius Pass Road intersection is signalized, nor is a third intersection where Germantown and Old Cornelius Pass roads intersect just south of the arterial road.

"Traffic volumes, speed and challenging intersection geometry contribute to traffic crashes at this intersection," the Washington County Department of Land Use & Transportation noted of the Cornelius Pass and Germantown roads intersection. Of the other two, the department added that they "also present safety concerns."

Following a traffic study, county planners are proposing a traffic signal at the problematic Cornelius Pass and Germantown intersection, as well as prohibiting westbound travel through the intersection of Germantown and Old Cornelius Pass roads, effectively rerouting the flow of traffic between the three junctions.

Members of the public are invited to learn more and leave their feedback for the county on the project during an online open house, which extends through Nov. 8.

Washington County expects to break ground on the project in February and complete construction sometime in May.

This project is separate from another, larger Washington County road project near the southern end of Cornelius Pass Road, which aims to widen the road north of Southwest Tualatin Valley Highway, or Highway 8. The estimated construction dates for that project are from 2022 to 2024.COURTESY MAP: WASHINGTON COUNTY - An overview map of what's being proposed at the intersection of Cornelius Pass and Old Cornelius Pass roads north of Hillsboro. (North is to the right on this map.)

By Mark Miller
Washington County Editor
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