City gears up to implement transportation bond projects
After a successful $20 million general obligation bond to provide relief for congested streets and add neighborhood safety improvements, the city is moving ahead with plans to begin constructing some of those projects.
"We have a bigger list then we have funds for," City Manager Sherilyn Lombos told the Tualatin City Council during a work session Monday night. Still, she said the plans are to complete the projects over the next three to five years.
The May 15 bond passed with 56 percent of city voters approving the projects.
On Monday, Jeff Fuchs, city public works director, told the council that the top four projects, totaling $8.7 million, will soon get underway.
• Improvements to the Garden Corner Curves. The $3.5 million project, which includes replacing a culvert, is currently in the concept design stage. Although it includes right-of-way property acquisition, hopes are for completion in 2019.
• Tualatin-Sherwood Road. Coordinating with Washington County and the Oregon Department of Transportation, plans have been to remove median landscaping between Martinazzi Avenue and the I-5 interchange eastbound to create an additional traffic lane in this $2.3 million project.
In addition, there will be realignment at the entrances/exits of the Nyberg Rivers shopping complex (containing the Cabela's anchor and other stores) and the Fred Meyer complex so they line up, reducing light-change time by as much as 30 seconds.
• The Sagert Street-Martinazzi Avenue intersection. A $2.4 million project, plans are to add a signal here.
"This is one that can go fairly quickly," Fuchs told the council.
• Boones Ferry Road-Siletz Drive intersection. The $426,000 project will add rectangular flashing beacons and bring it up to Americans with Disabilities Act compliance standards.
Meanwhile, Fuchs told the council that $1.5 million has been set aside for pedestrian crossing projects with another $9.7 million earmarked for use as projects get prioritized by using criteria that includes the ability to get the project done in three to five years, safety, community support, traffic flow, connectivity and other issues.
Asked about possible construction increases since the plan was drawn up two years ago, Fuchs told the council that estimates were specifically made extremely high with a large contingency built in to ensure the projects don't run over budget.
"With luck…we should be able to do more," he said.
(An original plan called for $43 million worth of projects for the city to focus on.)
Plans are to soon hire a project manager and consulting firm to move the projects forward.
Meanwhile, Lombos said a primary goal of the city was to keep the level of credibility high for residents as the traffic projects get started. She said the plan is to have website, tualatinmovingforward.com, act as a platform for public involvement and provide a timeline for projects.