Woodburn's First Street facelift to become reality
Downtown Woodburn's cracked and pothole-riddled First Street will receive long-awaited renovations if the Woodburn City Council approves an improvement project later this month.
The project would replace sidewalks and roadway on First Street between Oak and Harrison streets, upgrade the Second Street parking lot located behind the post office and resurface alleyways between Cleveland and Garfield streets.
The total estimated cost of the project is $4,470,000. Improvements to First Street are estimated to cost $3,964,000, with an additional $356,000 for the alleyways between Cleveland and Garfield streets and $150,000 for the Second Street parking lot.
The project's main challenge is balancing improvements to pedestrian amenities with road use and turning space for trucks, according to Community Development Director Chris Kerr.
On First Street brick walkways, called bulb-outs, would be placed alongside sidewalks and at corners, similar to Front Street's design. The bulb-outs would slow traffic to protect pedestrians and visually mark on-street parking. Restaurants could also obtain permits to use the curbside space for outdoor seating, Kerr said.
The council discussed moving utility cables underground, but eventually decided against burying cables because the cost was too high. Most of the utility cables are already out of sight in an adjacent alley, Kerr said.
Trees lining First Street would also be replaced with new saplings, although the species of tree has not been decided.
The public parking lot on Second Street would be repaved and repainted, creating 45 parking spaces. The project would upgrade the parking lot's lighting and storm drains and improve entrances on Lincoln and Grant streets.
Two alleyways between Cleveland and Garfield streets would be repaved, with new asphalt laid on the road surface and concrete pads poured for Dumpsters.
The city first presented plans to improve First Street in September of 2015, following the completion of improvements to Front Street in early 2010. That is when the City Council discussed turning First Street into a one-way street with diagonal parking, but eventually decided to keep First Street as a two-way due to truck traffic that passes through downtown.
The city council is accepting public input until the improvement project goes to a vote April 23. If the project is approved, the city will finish the design and bidding process by January 2019 and begin construction by March 2019.