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Thanks for fixing the Wankers intersection

One of the perennial headaches for local drivers is destined to finally be overcome. The Wanker's Corner intersection at Stafford and Borland roads is getting a facelift.

We applaud this major construction project that hopefully will transform the daily boulevard-stop gridlock into a smooth flow of traffic.

This huge 'aspirin' tablet proposed to make travel on the two roads headache-free has been administered by two Portland engineering firms and overseen by their counterparts from Clackamas County.

Outside of the lengthy time it has taken to get this project designed properly and on the ground, we have nothing but compliments for all those responsible. Thanks to the expertise of traffic engineers from Kittelson and Associates and civil engineers from Harper Houf Peterson Righellis as well as the county's Department of Transportation and Development, this project will make life easier for local residents.

We also don't want to overlook members of the Rolling Hills Community Church, who funded more than one-third of the eventual cost even though it was required as an off-site improvement when the church was built. The balance of funding was paid by developers, whose focus (families buying new homes) is partially responsible for increased traffic.

When completely finished in the fall of 2009, we see this intersection removing the headache that drivers have experienced for years while traveling from West Linn or Tualatin on Borland Road or from Lake Oswego or I-205 on Stafford Road.

Travel, we presume, will not only be easier and less time-consuming, but safer. Bicyclists and pedestrians also should appreciate the relative safety of a two-lane roundabout compared to those chancy boulevard-stop junctions.

Although environmentalists probably won't care for more developments to accommodate increased vehicular traffic, we suggest that they cannot overlook the fact that a traffic circle reduces pollution because there is very little waiting and much shorter idling time for cars passing through the circle.

Thanks to some creative engineering, which was the result of a collaborative effort by both engineering firms, traffic can continue to use the intersection with few or short delays while the traffic circle is being constructed.

We believe this project in Clackamas County will provide a model for other areas with a similar need to improve safety and traffic flow at their crossroads.