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The extension will create a shortcut from Tualatin/Sherwood to Wilsonville

COURTESY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY LAND USE & TRANSPORTATION - Here's what the new 124th Avenue extension project will look like.The Washington County Department of Land Use & Transportation will host a groundbreaking ceremony highlighting the extension of 124th Avenue at 1 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 12. The ceremony, which will also recognize a water project designed to pipe Willamette River water from Wilsonville to Hillsboro, is set for the south side of Tualatin-Sherwood Road and Southwest 124th Avenue.

The $30 million road project will extend 124th Avenue south from Tualatin-Sherwood Road to Tonquin Road. Once the extension intersects with Tonquin Road (2,000 feet east of Morgan Road), it will cross with a new road that will run parallel to Tonquin before connecting with Grahams Ferry Road.

Expected speakers at the ceremony include Andy Duyck, chairman of the Washington County Board of Commissioners; Lou Ogden, mayor of Tualatin; Krisanna Clark, mayor of Sherwood; Tim Knapp, mayor of Wilsonville; Mike Duyck, fire chief for Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue; and Marilyn McWilliams, board president for Tualatin Valley Water District.

The new road and pipeline highlights 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 roadway is part of the Basalt Creek Transportation Refinement Plan.

Safety improvements also will be made to sections of Tonquin and Grahams Ferry roads, totaling 4.4 miles of new and/or improved roadway. In 2015, daily traffic counts on Tonquin Road at Oregon Street showed 7,475 vehicles traveling the 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. 

— Ray Pitz

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