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You’ll soon see work on the Oregon Department of Transportation’s project to raise the existing Southeast Strawberry Lane structure over Interstate 205 by 18 inches to obtain additional vertical clearance for trucks.

PHOTO BY: RAYMOND RENDLEMAN - Some people were upset that ODOT is planning to help larger semi trucks get under Strawberry Lanes Interstate 205 overpass without adding sidewalks or a bike lane to Strawberry Lane.Construction on the project to increase clearance from 17 feet 2 inches to 18 feet 8 inches is scheduled to start in late spring/early summer and be completed by the end of September.

When ODOT’s Sunrise Corridor Project is complete next summer, over-height freight loads, which currently access 82nd Drive, will no longer be able to use the designated Oversized Freight Route to avoid current height restrictions on I-205 at Strawberry Lane.

Project limitations

Dozens of people complained in writing to state officials that only truck drivers would benefit from the project. They received the following response from ODOT: “Unfortunately, adding a sidewalk or a bike lane is not in ODOT’s budget as a component of this project at this time, but it doesn’t preclude adding a sidewalk or bike lane sometime in the future.”

Clackamas County officials suggested ways to provide clear areas for pedestrians and cyclists and better overall sight distance at cross streets.

“We recommended a number of improvements,” said Clackamas County Senior Planner Lori Mastrantonio-Meuser.

These suggestions included adding a railing, removing blackberries along the guard rails, and delineating a 5-foot-wide shoulder along the north side of the bridge by restriping travel lanes and adding a white stripe for the path. Planners are looking into lowering the speed limit to 25 mph in this area, adding a crosswalk at Cason and Strawberry Lane, and adding sharrows for cyclists eastbound on the east side ramp of the bridge.

ODOT’s project elements include a seismic retrofit, raising approach embankments to match new grade requirements, and constructing retaining walls east of I-205 on both sides of Strawberry Lane.

“I’m happy to report that the I-205 at Strawberry Lane Overcrossing project will implement all of the Clackamas County recommendations,” said Nicole Peirce, ODOT’s project leader. “The county was a great partner in the design effort.”

Traffic impacts

The northbound and southbound left and right lanes of I-205 will be closed to traffic at night during the bridge raising and reconstruction of the approach grade and embankments. Closures on I-205 will be allowed starting at 8 p.m. All lanes will reopen by 5:30 a.m. on weekdays, 8 a.m. on Saturdays, and 9 a.m. on Sundays.

People walking or biking will be detoured to Cason Lane during construction, while the shared-use path, located under the overpass west of I-205, will be closed from June to September.

Beginning Monday, June 15, TriMet’s Line 79-Clackamas/Oregon City will be detoured to accommodate ODOT’s project. Bus stops on Strawberry Lane west of I-205 will be temporarily closed. Line 79 will serve Oatfield and Webster via Roots Road and 82nd Drive.

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