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The final stages of a yearslong and ambitious project are expected to begin in 2021

PMG PHOTO: GARY ALLEN - A significant number of improvements are coming to Highway 99W and the streets of Dundee next year, with the final stage of a project a decade in the making coming to fruition.

A significant number of improvements are coming to Highway 99W and the streets of Dundee next year, with the final stage of a project a decade in the making coming to fruition.

In the 2020-21 budget approved last month, City Manager Rob Daykin wrote that the work is accounted for in the budget under the Street CIP Fund. The funding for the project originally came from a $1.5 million federal grant in 2011 and has been partially completed over the years. But a necessary tradeoff of federal dollars for state dollars led to this final stage.

"This was a project that the city initiated with an application for grant funds, and we coordinated with ODOT," Daykin said. "They were anticipating doing highway resurfacing in Dundee and areas beyond Dundee. The plan was ODOT would carry out the improvements using the grant we received back in 2010, but a lot has changed. On the highway, a number of smaller improvements have been completed, and the city has been the one to conduct these projects.

"ODOT determined that the part of the highway that goes through town, which is only 60 feet wide, is very restrictive. They would have to, using federal rules and guidelines, spend more money and take more time to make those changes. Instead, the city agreed to an exchange of federal dollars for state dollars so they didn't have those restrictions and the city did the improvements we've already done with some of that money."

Today, the city is at a point where it's awaiting ODOT's completion of a design package. That package will go out to bid for contractors this fall. Daykin said ODOT is targeting October or November for the bid process, with the remainder of the project starting in 2021.

Included in this project is highway work, streetscape and sidewalk improvements, among other work that ODOT hopes will be completed by the end of 2021 or early 2022.

"It will be a project, that when completed, will have decent life on the improvement to the highway asphalt," Daykin said. "There will also be sidewalk improvements at the north and south ends of the city, shifting of lanes and adding of a median coming down from first street, all new street lighting, new pedestrian crossings at both ends of town, and pedestrian islands within those. There's a lot going on, and we've added more to the project over the years, because we didn't anticipate in 2010 what would be needed a decade down the road."

Issues with past asphalt and a delay in the overall process due to complicated federal regulations led to a process that is now a decade in the making. Daykin expects that it won't be bumper to bumper in Dundee during all these changes, but that there will be plenty of changes happening at the same time in the course of the next 18 months.

For now, the city is awaiting word on a contractor to bid on the project, which should happen in the range of Halloween and Thanksgiving this fall. The project should carry on as planned regardless of the future status of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"It will be disruptive to traffic, there's no doubt about it, but ODOT will do the work in phases," Daykin said. "It's not like the entire highway from north to south will be torn up at any one time and they plan to do a lot of night work. The one thing they did determine is, depending on the contractor, it's unlikely they'll get everything done in 2021. It's possible, but there is a lot to do and it impacts pricing, too. The expectation is that, after the bid process, they'll enter into a contract starting in January and February of 2021."

For more information on the project and budgeted plans for its completion, visit the city's website and go to the Administrative Department, Budget and Finance tabs. Under those tabs, a copy of the 2020-21 budget is available in PDF form, with a full breakdown of the city's finances in myriad categories. Background on the history of this ODOT project is available in the document as well.


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