$3.1 million deal signed with Knife River Corp. for ۬long-awaited construction project.

PMG PHOTO: JUSTIN MUCH - Stopped traffic, detours and other obstacles can be expected on Woodburn's West Hayes Street as construction crews work on street improvements. Woodburn's West Hayes Street is fixing to have a lot of activity this construction season as the town's City Council gave a green light to a project that's been in the hopper for longer than anyone can remember.

During its May 9 meeting, the Woodburn City Council approved a Hayes Street improvement project contract with Knife River Corp. for a $3.1 million contract with an additional $300,000 contingency for potential changes.

The project involves reconstruction of the street between Cascade Drive and North Settlemier Avenue. Planned improvements include: the addition of two 5-foot bike lanes; a sidewalk along the north side of Hayes Street; new storm drainage assets, including a bioretention pond; and the installation of a traffic signal at Hayes and Settlemier.

Woodburn Public Works Director Curtis Stultz said the project is anticipated to take 10 to 14 months to complete.

Perhaps the most welcoming feature will be the new signal at an awkward intersection.

"We did a traffic analysis (through a consultant) to find out which traffic pattern, which control mechanism on that intersection, was going to be the best for the whole area. The stoplight is what came up as the best alternative," Stultz said. "As far as how traffic is going to flow, it should continue to flow about the same."

The project is included in the city's 2021-22 fiscal year budget and will carry over to the proposed 2022-23 fbudget. It has been a long time coming.

"This project has been in the works for … I don't even know how long — literally years," Woodburn City Administrator Scott Derickson said during the May 9 meeting. "This is some kind of a milestone tonight, probably a good milestone. It's exciting to have it funded, and I'm glad we can bring this to you this evening."

After the project go-ahead was given, Woodburn Mayor Eric Swenson noted that the intersection at the east end of the project is a site well entrenched in the city's history.

"It is a moment the city administrator has been working on for years and years," Swenson said. "But if you close your eyes and think back to what that intersection (Hayes and Settlemier) has been … it's been active since the Settlemier House was built, and those trees have probably been there for that long."

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