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Public gets closeup look at Highway 217 expansion project

Wednesday's open house focuses on work to add a third northbound lane

Oregon's Department of Transportation will host an open house Wednesday night to discuss the $34 million improvement project for Highway 217 in Beaverton.

The meeting is from 6 to 8 p.m. at Ridgewood Elementary School, 10100 S.W. Ingelwood St.

The state is in the final design phase of the project to add a third northbound lane from the Tualatin Valley Highway to the Sunset Highway.

Construction should begin this summer and be completed by September 2009.

In addition to the new northbound lane, the project will build retaining walls, improve drainage on the highway, repave and stripe the highway's interchange ramps with the Sunset Highway, lengthen the Wilshire Street overpass to accommodate a wider highway and improve visibility and safety on the Wilshire Street off-ramp.

Once complete, the highway will have three northbound lanes between the Tualatin Valley Highway and the Sunset Highway. It should help eliminate weaving that occurs near Southwest Walker Road as motorists enter and exit the highway.

Most of the work will be done when the highway isn't quite so busy. During the nighttime work, some lanes will be closed or restricted.

The work is part of the Westside Corridor Project, developed by a working group of local, regional and state officials who began meeting in 1991 to find solutions to the area's transportation problems.

Projects completed as part of the Westside Corridor Project are the westside light-rail, the Camelot-to-Sylvan project on the Sunset Highway and the addition of a third southbound lane on the north end of Highway 217.