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The 1.3-mile 124th Avenue extension will be a shortcut from Tualatin to Wilsonville

COURTESY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY LAND USE & TRANSPORTATION - Here's what the new 124th Avenue extension project will look like.A groundbreaking ceremony for one of Washington County’s newest thoroughfares, along with a major water project that will pipe Willamette River from Wilsonville to Hillsboro, set for Wednesday, Sept. 16, at the south side of Tualatin-Sherwood Road and 124th Avenue was cancelled due to a potential for inclement weather. A new date has yet to be set for celebrating the construction of the south side of 124th Avenue, a $30 million road project that will build a new two-lane arterial between Tualatin-Sherwood and Grahams Ferry roads. Once the new 124th Avenue extension intersects with Tonquin Road (2,000 feet east of Morgan Road), it will cross north before creating a new road that will run parallel to Tonquin before hooking up with Grahams Ferry Road.

Scheduled speakers for the event had included Andrew Singelakis, director of the Washington County Department of Land Use & Transportation;  Andy Duyck, chairman of the Washington County Board of Commissioners; Lou Ogden, mayor of the city of Tualatin; Krisanna Clark, mayor of the city of Sherwood; Tim Knapp, mayor of Wilsonville; John Godsey, chairman of the Hillsboro Utilities Commission; Mike Duyck, fire chief for Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue; and Marilyn McWilliams, board president for Tualatin Valley Water District.

The event will highlight partnerships between the Willamette Water Supply Program and Washington County, along with the cities of Sherwood, Tualatin, Wilsonville and Hillsboro.

Officials say by combining the two major projects through interagency collaboration, traffic and construction impacts will be minimized, and both agencies will save money by reducing construction and project management costs. In addition, the Willamette Water Supply Program and Washington County continue to work together to identify future opportunities to partner on additional sections of the water transmission pipeline.

For the city of Sherwood, the 124th Avenue extension is important for economic reasons. In 2012, Sherwood voters approved annexing 300 acres of property as part of what’s known as the Tonquin Employment Area with plans to create a light industrial zone for future production-type employment along 124th Avenue. The 1.3-mile roadway is part of the Basalt Creek Transportation Refinement Plan.

Safety improvements will also be made to sections of Tonquin and Grahams Ferry roads, totaling 4.4 miles of new and/or improved roadway.  Construction for both the road and pipeline projects is scheduled to begin later this year and be completed in 2018. The Willamette Water Supply Program will fund the pipeline construction and a proportionate share of other project costs. Washington County’s Major Streets Transportation Improvement Program (MSTIP) will fund road construction work. 

The first section of the more than 30-mile-long Willamette Water Supply system will be installed in the new road right-of-way. It is the first section of the earthquake-resilient water transmission pipeline to be built as part of the Willamette Water Supply Program.  The Willamette Water Supply Program is a partnership between Tualatin Valley Water District (TVWD) and the city of Hillsboro to develop an additional source of drinking water from the mid-Willamette River in Wilsonville.

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