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Council redlines issues in transportation plan

Tualatin leaders will submit final proposal within month


The Tualatin City Council reached a consensus on two particularly hot-button transportation projects being considered for inclusion in the city’s updated Transportation System Plan.

The Transportation Task Force, which includes Monique Beikman, Joelle Davis and Wade Brooksby as the City Council’s representatives, held its final meeting Nov. 1. During its Monday night work session, the council red-lined the contentious proposed 65th Avenue Extension, effectively striking it from the plan, City Manager Sherilyn Lombos said. The proposal involved the construction of a bridge over the Tualatin River and into Rivergrove in order to relieve traffic congestion from Boones Ferry Road. At the Sept. 20 Community Transportation Summit, Beikman voiced concerns about making such a decision for Rivergrove, citing that the Clackamas County city was at the time unwilling to commit to the project on its end.

“Rivergrove has been advocating for (excluding this proposed project), and there’s been a lot of discussion around that,” Lombos explained.

The region around the 65th Avenue extension proposal will not even be included in the plan as a study area, Lombos said.

Instead, the council resolved to meet with Rivergrove and other neighboring cities, Tigard and Lake Oswego, in the next few years to discuss options for traffic and connectivity improvements that could be more beneficial to each community.

The council then addressed another outstanding proposal that had been tabled since the Sept. 20 summit: whether to widen Boones Ferry Road in the downtown area and on the Boones Ferry Bridge leading into Durham.

Ultimately, the council decided to include the project in the finalized TSP.

“The (Transportation) Task Force was split on that,” Lombos said, “because the Oregon Department of Transportation doesn’t see that bridge as a high priority. So it would take a lot of work for ODOT to move it up on their priority list.”

Still, the council identified widening along Boones Ferry Road as an eventual necessity and decided to include it as a long-range project in the plan.

“We’ll work with ODOT and Durham on how that works itself out,” said Lombos. “It doesn’t have funding associated with it right now, but we’ll work with ODOT. We don’t have to build it tomorrow.”

While the TSP is a 10-year plan for the city’s development, the most recent plan takes into account a planning horizon that is understood to be 2035.

The council will submit the city’s finalized TSP to Metro and the Department of Land Conservation and Development for review, Lombos said.

“In January, we’ll meet with the Tualatin Planning Advisory Committee, and the Parks Advisory Committee — they’re also required by our process to weigh in and give the council a recommendation on the TSP, because it includes so many trails and bikeways that they’re responsible for,” Lombos said.

After that, the TSP is due to go before the City Council for final approval on Feb. 11 of next year.

The council then has the option to adopt the TSP as-is, to adopt it with changes or opt to hold a public meeting if members feel more information is needed.

“My expectation is it won’t be a contentious public hearing,” Lombos said. “It’ll be pretty smooth, and I expect that they’ll adopt it.”

The TSP would then be finalized after a public hearing at the end of February.

State law requires that “every jurisdiction of a certain size” is required to have a transportation system plan in place, Lombos said, and that it be partially updated every 10 years — hence Tualatin’s Sept. 20 transportation summit, which was a town hall-style meeting that welcomed public input.

For more information on the Tualatin Transportation System Plan, visit tualatintsp.org.