Fifth Street road extension project construction could begin in early 2021
Construction on the Wilsonville government's project to add another connection through town along Fifth Street from Boones Ferry Road to Kinsman Road could finally start at the beginning of 2021.
The city's Urban Renewal Agency, which is the Wilsonville City Council, recently approved an engineering contract for the project, and Capital Projects Engineering Manager Zach Weigel said the city is hoping to finalize a contract for construction in February, with work potentially beginning in March. Along with an 1,800-foot extension of Fifth Street from Bailey Street to slightly beyond Kinsman Road, the project will also extend Kinsman Road by 100 feet and add a new intersection on Kinsman Road and Fifth Street.
"For local traffic in the area, it will provide another route away from that Boones Ferry, Wilsonville Road intersection and away from the Wilsonville road interchange. It will be a good benefit for local traffic moving through the area," Weigel said.
Construction was initially slated to begin in 2018, but staff turnover and a commitment to cut down costs led to delays, Weigel said. The city also needs to finalize the purchasing of property needed for the project, which Weigel said would likely happen by early next year.
"We're expecting them to wrap up before we start construction. They (property owners) just have questions about some of the design elements, like driveway width and making sure they can get their vehicles in and out of what is planned," Weigel said.
The project is paid for through system development charges as well as the Year 2000 Urban Renewal District, which takes the taxes associated with increased property values in the area and uses that money for public improvement projects. The 2020-21 fiscal year budget includes over $7 million for property acquisition, construction, administration and other costs.
Construction is expected to progress over a two-year period, which Weigel said is due to difficulties related to constructing bridges over Coffee Lake Creek and providing access to nearby businesses.
Once the project is complete, the city will eventually extend Fifth Street all the way to Brown Road. Weigel said this wouldn't happen until residential and industrial development in the area south of Wilsonville Road and west of Boones Ferry Road occurs.
"There isn't a timeframe for that project. It's dependent on when development in that area might occur. That section of the roadway wouldn't be needed until development in that area happens," Weigel said.
Part of the goal of the Brown Road extension would be to elongate the Ice Age Tonquin Trail by 2,000 feet and connect it with Boones Ferry Road.
Some Old Town residents previously told the Spokesman they were unhappy about the project, especially because it will likely lead to increased traffic in the area. Weigel said the city has addressed neighborhood concerns by adding sidewalks and parking improvements.
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