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Long list of administrative, capital projects now underway, some to be complete by summer

Molalla's Public Works Department is working on a long list of administrative and capital projects, said Gerald Fisher, pubic works director, at the Jan. 22 City Council meeting.

One project goes back to 2010 when Oregon's Department of Transportation approved street crossings at Kennel, Metzler, Molalla, Engle, Center, Sweigle, Grange, Lola and Cole Streets. Somehow the city and ODOT, which had planned to enter an Intergovernmental Agreement for Molalla to install and maintain the crosswalks, didn't finalize that IGA.

But ODOT has approved the request with three conditions. Any infrastructure improvements will include standard or better Americans with Disability Act accommodations. Crosswalks will be marked with standard or staggered Continental style layout because ladder style crosswalks aren't allowed on state highways. And, Molalla and ODOT will develop an IGA for funding and maintenance of the crosswalk markings, curb extensions and signs.

Additionally, ODOT will replace ADA ramps along Main Street, which also is Oregon Highway 211, from Hezzie Lane to Mathias Road. These ramps do not comply with current ADA standards. The work will be done and paid for by ODOT. Construction is expected to begin this summer at the same time ODOT constructs the bike and pedestrian pathway and the Highway 211/Molalla Avenue signal project. With these projects, Oregon Highway 211 will be under construction this summer from Oregon Highway 213 to Mathias Road.

Public Works staff completed stop sign inventory and replacements for seven streets in Molalla. The completed project involved Mathias Road, Mary Drive, Molalla Forest Road, Lowe Road, Ridings Avenue, Meadow Drive and Village Drive.

Meanwhile, Public Works staff is continuing to work on rewriting Molalla Municipal Code Chapter's 10, 12, 13 and 21 when time allows.

Capital Projects

Public Works continues to work on improving its wastewater treatment plant. One nearly completed project is the new Trident 2MGD filtration plant's chemical and telemetry upgrades.

The concrete pad for the filter unit has been poured and needs to cure for 30 days before work is underway. It must be fully cured before any weight is placed on it.

The filter manufacturer is proceeding to construct a new filtration unit that's expected to ship here this spring. Staff expects completion by June 2020.

Before winter began, the contractor removed 279 tons of biosolids. That work is stopped by winter weather and will again begin removing biosolids or sludge in May through July. The sludge judge (measuring equipment) of the lagoon and aeration basin is complete. Staff currently is repairing the valve between the two lagoons.

Consent Decree Compliance reporting indicated no violations reported during the third quarter reporting period. There will be violations for the fourth quarter period involving ammonia in November and December, a misworded sign in December will also be noted. Staff is tracking performance of the WWTP for January and adjusting plant operation as necessary.

The Water Master Plan and Water Management and Conservation plan first seven draft chapters are posted on Molalla's city website. TAC/PAC meetings are scheduled for January, April and August. Planning Commission and City Council hearings are scheduled for the end of 2020. The contract has been amended to include risk assessment and an emergency response plan update beginning in July 2020.

This plan addition is an EPA recommendation that soon will become a requirement. Staff will be working on the update to complete prior to EPA requirements taking effect.

Road Projects

Firstly, the Toliver Road roundabout is in the planning stages. The IGA was executed in early November and the OTIB loan for $2.5 million was agreed to in late January. The project currently is in design with construction anticipated to begin in the spring 2023.

Secondly, the pedestrian-bike bridge on the north side of Oregon Highway 211 near the Safeway Shopping Center and Molalla River Middle School has received a number of approvals and will move forward with the project in the summer of 2020.

The final plan review is complete, and bidding is expected to begin on or before March with construction starting in August. The first phase of the project will happen during improvements on Highway 211. Construction should be completed in fiscal 2020-21 or even early in 2021.

Finally, the Highway 211 signal design currently is underway. It's part of the conditions for the Cascade Center to be built on Highway 211 near the Middle School.

Staff attended the first design meeting with ODOT in early January. Construction is slated for this summer and likely will require the closure of Molalla Avenue for a single block in each direction for staging construction. Night work will be allowed.

Construction dates are still to be determined. Staff expects a detour routing during construction. It is not expected to impact the city's July 4 events. Once the construction dates are firm, residents and businesses will be notified by the website or Facebook. Businesses will be contacted in the spring regarding impacts to downtown. It's a high priority intersection safety project.


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