ODOT added additional work on the stretch of road, which will take longer to complete

GARY ALLEN - Rebuilding Highway 99W through Dundee will begin in 2020, according to ODOT officials.

Additional work to be done by the Oregon Department of Transportation on Highway 99W in Dundee has been delayed, with a new target date of 2020 expected.

Work began in 2017 and was expected to be completed this year. ODOT officials said they couldn't get to Highway 99 until they completed a separate project on the Newberg-Dundee bypass, although that project wrapped up in January.

According to a newsletter on the city of Dundee website, the first phase of the 99W sidewalk and streetscape project finished ahead of time and under budget. The second phase is the responsibility of ODOT and includes building sidewalks, curbs, a left-turn northbound merge lane at the First Street intersection, crosswalks with refuge islands and pedestrian-activated signals at both ends of the town, as well as installing new street lights and resurfacing and re-striping the highway.

However, an ODOT decision will add to the workload by requiring the removal of old concrete under travel lanes, causing a delay.

ODOT will install new base under the travel lanes prior to paving in certain sections where the asphalt fails at a faster pace than usual. The proposed construction will create a better road base and, once completed, the road is expected to last 20 years, according to the city's newsletter. The project will also improve the storm drainage system on the section of road. The original storm pipe was installed in the 1930s, is too small to and has failed in several locations. There will also be improvements to water treatment facilities to comply with the requirements of the federal Clean Water Act.

ODOT Project Manager Alvin Shoblom, who only recently took over the 99W project, said the schedule for finishing the effort isn't "quite buttoned down," but will likely take longer than originally expect. In addition to the new grind and inlay and water drainage, he said crews are also doing surveys of the area to see what, if any, adjustments are needed. They are also making sure the new roadways tie in with existing ramps and that any slopes meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

"Unfortunately that probably is the case," he said of being behind schedule, adding ODOT is working on a side contract to allow the city to install lighting in the area.

Dundee City Administrator Rob Daykin said the 99W project is a complex issue, compounded by the additional roadwork needs. Initially, he said the expectation was that ODOT's work would come right at the heels of the city's completion of their work on sidewalks and street improvements. However, he said work on the adjacent bypass absorbed a lot of time and resources, and when ODOT moved on to the highway they had to face new ADA and water requirements, and it was determined the grinding and overlay of the road was not acceptable. He said there was also an exchange of funding from federal to the state level to make some aspects easier to accomplish.

"It just keeps compounding," Daykin said, but was quick to add "but it will be the right thing to do."

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