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Construction of West Linn transportation projects expected to begin in mid-2019

TIDINGS FILE PHOTO - Transportation projects funded by the renewed bond will likely begin in mid-2019. The 20-year lifespan of a general obligation (GO) bond is somewhat misleading.

While West Linn's renewed GO bond won't expire until 2038, it still faces the task of spending 85 percent of a projected $20 million within the next three years. With that in mind, City staff have already outlined a rough schedule to get moving on projects related to transportation and parks. The exact rundown of projects in the third bond category, city facilities, is still being determined by the City Council.

With regard to transportation projects — which include improvements on Highway 43 as well as work at the 10th Street/Salamo Road intersection and Willamette Falls Drive — much of the early work will involve contract bids.

"Most of the transportation work will be contracted out — both design and construction — so the first step is putting together project descriptions — basically RFOs (requests for offers) for design work," Community Development Director John Williams said. "Once the plans are completed, then we go out for procurement to hire construction companies. For projects involving state facilities, like I-205 right of way or Highway 43, there's an extra phase in there where ODOT review and approval of plans would be required, which would take some time."

Community involvement will be key in the early stages of transportation projects as well, according to Williams.

"Some of these projects are pretty big," he said. "The 10th Street and Salamo intersection — that has a lot of ODOT involvement and a complex design. A lot of these designs would be part of a community conversation — what do you want in this area; how is it going to look?"

The order of the projects has yet to be determined, as Williams said staff was working on finalizing its recommendations early this week and would present them at an upcoming June 25 meeting.

"(Finance Director) Lauren (Breithaupt) brings the supplemental budget (to that meeting) and we'll have information about the projects and timelines, both on the parks and streets side. That will have estimated costs for all of these and the timeline."

Williams said it will likely be at least a year before construction begins on transportation projects.

"If we get started tomorrow, we are essentially in the design phase into 2019, and then would conceivably be doing some construction in the summer of 2019," Williams said. "But likely most of the construction would be in 2020 and beyond."

It's a different story for parks, according to Williams.

"On the parks side, there's a lot that can be done more quickly because a lot of it is smaller – rebuilding paths, replacing a shelter," Williams said. "All of that stuff doesn't have to go through such a process, so it's a different timeline."

And while City Council continues to debate what to prioritize in the city facilities category, it has agreed that the addition of a new roof and generator at the library should be prioritized.

"They said do that as fast as possible," Williams said.

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