Construction started Wednesday, Oct. 3, to improve access to and from the Northeast Wilkes Road industrial area in Rockwood.

Wilkes Road is closed to traffic during construction, which is expected to last into November. Signs route traffic to detours.

Traffic on northbound 181st Avenue to access the Interstate 84 eastbound on-ramp may experience brief delays.

The work is part of a project funded by the Rockwood-West Gresham urban renewal district to create direct access from I-84 to the area’s industrial hub instead of driving 1-1/2 miles through city streets, said Laura Shepard, Gresham spokeswoman.

Once completed, the improvements will accommodate southbound left and northbound right turns from 181st Avenue onto Wilkes Road, as well as westbound right turns from Wilkes Road onto 181st Avenue. 

The Gresham Redevelopment Commission in May approved a public-private partnership to fund and construct the Wilkes Road Improvement Project with the city’s Department of Environmental Services Transportation Division and property owner Washington Real Estate Holdings Gresham.

The $674,570 project supports new and continued private investment, additional job creation and retention in the surrounding industrial area, Shepard said.

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