Our Opinion: Get ready, because there's construction ahead
There's an old saying: Short-term pain for long-term gain.
Well, Washington County commuters, at long last, the county is closing in on a three-stage project to expand traffic capacity and improve safety on Southwest Tualatin-Sherwood and Roy Rogers roads.
Bringing what was a rural road connecting two backwater towns into the 21st century, in which it is very much a major commuter and freight route — a highway in all but name — has been a high priority for Washington County and the cities of Tualatin and Sherwood for years. But challenges and delays have put the work on hold until now.Read our story from Aug. 9, 2019, previewing an open house for Tualatin-Sherwood and Roy Rogers road improvements.
With tens of thousands of vehicles on Tualatin-Sherwood and Roy Rogers roads every morning, and tens of thousands more vehicles on them every night, it goes without saying that roadwork — especially on the order of this project, which has a total budget of well over $30 million spread out over five years — will present some traffic difficulties.
While that work won't start until next year, another major disruption to traffic patterns in the area is set to hit next month, when Southwest Beef Bend Road will close for nearly two months at Southwest 146th Avenue for a culvert replacement.
It's not as alluring a project as Washington County's planned work to overhaul the Tualatin-Sherwood connection, but on the slopes of Bull Mountain to our north, drainage work carries some significance. Residential development has exacerbated stormwater runoff in the area, and it's on the county to ensure that water is draining the way it should and not contributing to runaway erosion.
There's plenty of smaller projects, too, including upcoming roadwork in neighboring Tualatin that's funded through the transportation bond city voters approved last year. That includes improvements to Tualatin-Sherwood Road out toward Interstate 5.
And as work continues to build a massive new pipeline system from the Willamette River in Wilsonville up to the communities of Hillsboro, Aloha, Beaverton and Tigard, sections of roadway are being dug up so pipe can be laid in the ground. (On the plus side, that water supply work is providing some of the impetus for the county to finally get to rebuilding Tualatin-Sherwood and Roy Rogers roads through Sherwood.)
So there you have it: It's time for some traffic problems in the Sherwood area.
What we would urge is your patience.
All of the work that is underway or planned right now for major roads like these isn't being done with the intent of inconveniencing you. In fact, officials are keenly aware of the disruptions that this roadwork will cause, and they build that into their planning. That's why, for instance, in Forest Grove to our northwest, county planners aren't trying to rebuild two problematic intersections on Highway 47 at the same time, instead tackling one and then the other.
Yes, waiting for flaggers and being forced onto detour routes is frustrating. Yes, it's a waste of everyone's time to sit in traffic instead of working or spending time with loved ones. But this too shall pass. It's a temporary nuisance to get to a positive permanent result.
So look on the bright side. Those traffic problems now could mean less problems for years to come.
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