A long-awaited step toward completion of the first phase of the Newberg-Dundee bypass will begin soon by the Oregon Department of Transportation.
A contractor hired by ODOT is poised to begin realignment of the western terminus of Wilsonville Road to again connect directly with Highway 219. The project is designed to redirect traffic now being funneled from Wilsonville Road onto Springbrook Road, back to Highway 219 south of the bypass. It is expected to be completed by July.
ODOT's original design was to connect Wilsonville Road directly to the eastern terminus of the bypass, but threats of litigation from a homeowner's association fearing increased traffic on that road forced the state agency to funnel traffic from Wilsonville Road to Springbrook Road until a realignment could be completed. The compromise has often led to traffic snarls near the intersection of the two roads, including a rash of illegal u-turns by motorists attempting to travel south on Highway 219 but who are thwarted by barriers to left turns from Wilsonville Road to Springbrook Road.
The new design will see Wilsonville Road now take a sharp left turn about a quarter-mile east of Highway 219 onto a section of Adolph Road, then sweep around to the west to connect to the highway a few hundred yards south of Wynooski Road.
The project is estimated to total about $4 million, according to Alvin Shoblom, Region 2 project manager for ODOT. The bid for $1.61 million was awarded to Kerr Contractors Oregon, a Woodburn firm that participated in the construction of the bypass. Funding came from the Jobs and Transportation Act, passed by the Legislature in 2009, which partially funded construction of the first phase of the bypass.
The reasoning behind the project is fairly straightforward.
"Wilsonville Road has to be relocated to allow for the next construction phase of the Newberg-Dundee bypass," Shoblom said.
ODOT purchased right-of-way from eight property owners and one tenant, Sholblom said. The land purchased by ODOT was primarily used for farming, according to maps provided by ODOT.
The next step of the bypass, Phase 2, is in development stage. Funding leftover from Phase 1 of the bypass, estimated to be between $12 million and $18 million, is being used for purchase of right-of-way on the project, which will connect Highway 219 with Highway 99W near the base of Rex Hill. That project is estimated to cost roughly $115 million. The Legislature has so far produced $22 million for construction of the second phase.
Shoblom said design of Phase 2 of the bypass "will only be taken to the first design stage known as DAP (Design Acceptance Package) because there are no construction funds allocated for Phase 2 at this time," he said. "Once full or partial funding is provided the design phase will continue on."
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.