Streetscape construction begins
A project to revamp the historic Main Street portion of Willamette Falls Drive has begun, and the busy business district already is looking quite different.
Most noticeable among the changes are the removal of trees and the partial closure of street parking.
Many people in West Linn started expressing concern about the project when the City began to cut down deciduous trees that lined the roadway, separating parking from street traffic.
According to Assistant City Engineer Erich Lais, the City cut down 69 trees on Willamette Falls Drive, but before the project is over will have planted 80 trees along the street.
Lais noted that parking on portions of the street will be prohibited during construction, but some street parking should always be open throughout the course of the project.
City staff and city councilors have said they don't want the construction to hurt businesses on Willamette Falls Drive.
According to the project website, "the City plans to utilize construction management techniques such as phasing and temporary detours to allow pedestrian and vehicular access to businesses during construction."
In November, two business owners in the area told the Tidings they weren't thrilled about the prospect of busy, loud construction in front of their businesses, but saw how the project could be good for the community in the long run.
"Change has to happen," said Jaclyn Pool, owner of Tousled Hair Salon.
Sierra Lobina, owner of Renew Juice Co., said she's glad the City will complete the project in block-by-block phases.
When construction is completed later this year, Main Street will include wider sidewalks, more room for outdoor dining, reconfigured parking, separated bike lanes, decorative lighting, relocated power lines, pervious paver transitions and free public Wi-Fi.
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