Consultants present design options for St. Helens road improvements
St. Helens hosted another round of public meetings Tuesday, Sept. 11, to present a series of recommended design options and proposals identified as key roadways to connect people to the city's waterfront and future development.
The purpose of the presentation was not to present final design plans, consultant Matt Hastie with Angelo Planning Group explained Tuesday, but to outline a series of preferred design options crafted by consultants from various companies working with the Committee to Oversee Overt Long-range Passageway Planning, or COOPPL, to approve the overall final Riverfront Connector Plan.
Ultimately the Riverfront Connector Plan will provide a framework for a cohesive, multi-modal and inviting transportation loop from Highway 30 to the Riverfront District and along the waterfront, a description of the project on the city's website reads.
The city received grant funding in 2017 to pursue the plan.
Many of the roadway designs for major connector roads like Gable Road, Plymouth Street and Old Portland Road include two-lane roadways with bicycle paths, pedestrian access and landscaping strips, which can also act as safety buffers. Some design constructs implement cycle tracks as an alternative to bike lanes. Cycle tracks feature a slightly raised pathway with two lanes for each direction of travel, which are primarily located on one side of the road.
Hastie explained that a few committee members preferred moving a single lane to each side of the roadway, but keeping the lane raised and separated from the roadway by a small landscaping strip.
During the presentation, Hastie highlighted several key intersection interchanges at Old Portland Road and Gable Road, Gable Road and McNulty Way, as well as the intersection of Plymouth Street and Old Portland Road, which could require more detailed redesigns to make the roadways more efficient and able to handle heavier traffic loads. Many of those details have yet to be refined.
A detailed design document can be found on the city's Riverfront Connector Plan website. Consultants are also seeking feedback on the proposed designs. Contact information can be found at www.riverfrontconnectorplan.com