Wilsonville Road/Highway 219 realignment opens
A project directly reconnecting Wilsonville Road with Highway 219 on the southern end of Newberg is now open.
The realignment has closed off access from Wilsonville to Springbrook roads and instead funnels traffic onto Highway 219 south of Wynooski Street. It is the last project associated with the first phase of the Newberg-Dundee bypass and makes way for the second phase of the bypass, which will extend from Highway 219 to Highway 99W at the base of Rex Hill.
The original design of the first phase of the bypass, completed in 2018, called for the thoroughfare to intersect Highway 219 at its intersection with Wilsonville Road. However, residents owning property on Wilsonville Road on the southern flank of Parrett Mountain threatened legal action, claiming that bypass traffic would funnel directly onto Wilsonville Road and therefore make it unsafe.
The Oregon Department of Transportation altered the design to curtail direct access from Wilsonville Road onto Highway 219, choosing to divert traffic north to Springbrook Road, a circuitous route that proved unpopular with motorists forced to travel north on Springbrook Road and then make an illegal U-turn in order to access Highway 219. The redesign also called for construction of an intersection of the bypass and Highway 219 north of Wynooski Street.
Construction began in December and is expected to be completed in July, according to Leia Kagawa, an assistant resident engineer for ODOT.
The new design sees 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 750 feet south of Wynooski Road. When the second phase of the bypass is constructed, officials said, Wynooski Street will be realigned to the south to meet the new intersection of Wilsonville Road and Highway 219.
Design, right-of-way purchase and construction is estimated to total about $7 million, according to ODOT officials. The successful bid for the construction phase of the project, $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.
ODOT purchased right-of-way from eight property owners and one tenant, officials said. The land purchased by ODOT was primarily used for farming, according to maps provided by the agency. ODOT held an online open house from March 23 through April 30 to take input from the citizenry before continuing the project.
The next step of the bypass is in the development stage. Funding left over 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. That project is estimated to cost roughly $115 million. The Legislature, so far, has produced $22 million for construction of the second phase.
ODOT officials 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. Once full or partial funding is provided, the design phase will continue on."
For more information on the project, visit oregon.gov/odot/projects/pages/project-details.aspx?project=19803.
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