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Sunnybrook Boulevard extension back?

Like a bad dream for the local residents and wildlife, Clackamas County has resurrected their $10 million boondoggle that no one wants.

After shelving the new road project almost two years ago the Department of Transportation and Development (DTD) has brought it back as their recommended option for traffic around the Town Center.

In 2011, strong leadership by county commissioners Paul Savas and Jim Bernard shelved the project after five years of detailed public meetings and analysis found that virtually no one but county staff wanted this road project. The list of those opposed to this project is long: city of Milwaukie, all seven of the Milwaukie neighborhood associations, the three local county neighborhood groups, local businesses and all of the ecological organizations concerned about livability and access to nature. Most recently, the current public advisory committee voted unanimously against this project and recommended that the commissioners NOT pursue an extension.

This is the $10 million road that no one wants, and it keeps coming back!

The DTD wants to push Sunnybrook at 82nd Avenue through to Fuller Road.This new road would significantly impact an old-growth White Oak forest, cut off safe access from the Clackamas Community College campus down to the 89-acre wetland/forest natural area AND move the increased traffic to a roundabout at Harmony and Fuller.

For the Sunnybrook project to “succeed” DTD must also widen Harmony Road, buy out properties along the way, and shut down businesses in the way at Linwood Avenue/Railroad Avenue/Lake Road and build a bridge over the railroad tracks.

Last time, the DTD said this bridge would cost $35 million they did not have. Now, the DTD says the entire Harmony rebuild including the bridge will “only cost” $20 million that they still don’t have.

Bottom line, Sunnybrook will create more traffic at Fuller and Harmony roads with an unfunded bridge to move the traffic.

Despite overwhelming opposition, the county has already wasted over a million dollars of public money studying and planning for this project. Let’s not waste another dime on this nightmare!

Yet again, our voices need to be heard by the county staff and elected officials. This plan is still in committee and will be forwarded to the commissioners as the preferred alternative on the Transportation System Plan. Once it is on the plan, it is hard to get it off.

NOW is the time to stop this disastrous project (again) and FINALLY! We need to let our elected officials know that the local citizens believe in safe neighborhoods and schools, access to beautiful natural areas and clean water for the people of Milwaukie.

Beth and Lynn Kelland co-lead the Linwood neighborhood association, and Chris Runyard is a steward of the 3-Creeks Natural Area. The county’s transportation advisory committee meets in the Development Services Building, 150 Beavercreek Road, Oregon City, on Wednesday, April 17, at 4 p.m. and on Tuesday, April 23, at 6 p.m.



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