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10th Avenue in Cornelius and roadways around Hagg Lake are among those scheduled for work.

What does 2018 hold for motorists in western Washington County?

There isn't a lot of major county roadwork planned for our area in the New Year, but county spokeswoman Melissa De Lyser said motorists can expect to see some lane closures and delays in places due to road and bridge projects.

NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER OERTELL - In Cornelius, North 10th Avenue is still a construction zone for much of 2018 after a partial closure from August to December.

10th Avenue

Work is continuing to improve North 10th Avenue in Cornelius. One of western Washington County's major north-south roadways, 10th Avenue becomes Southwest Golf Course Road south of Cornelius and passes through Blooming, while north of town, it becomes Northwest Cornelius-Schefflin Road and connects Cornelius with the Verboort and North Plains areas.

It is undergoing a transformation as part of a county road project.

"North of Adair (Street), sidewalks, streetlights and the west side intersection of Davis (Street) will be completed by late February," De Lyser told the News-Times in an email. "Work yet to be completed south of Adair includes utility relocation, new storm/sewer pipe, waterline work, new traffic signals, illumination, curbs, sidewalks, paving and the south railroad crossing upgrade. Completion is expected for fall 2018."

All construction and completion dates for the 10th Avenue project are tentative, as De Lyser noted. The scheduling of roadwork can vary dramatically from initial estimates due to factors such as adverse weather, the availability of contractors and subcontractors, and other projects in the area.

10th Avenue just reopened to through traffic north of Adair Street after being closed from August to late December. De Lyser said two more closures are expected before the project is completed, although the county currently estimates they will be much shorter than this year's closure at two weeks each.

Those 10th Avenue closures in 2018 are tentatively expected to take place between Adair and Baseline streets in June, due to utility work and road construction, and south of Baseline Street in September to allow for work on reconstructing the railroad crossing there, according to De Lyser. Those dates are also subject to change.

Motorists on 10th Avenue through Cornelius can expect to see some impacts prior to the next road closure, De Lyser told the News-Times.

"For the next few months, traffic impacts will be limited to lane shifts and occasional flagging," she wrote in her email.

Once complete, 10th Avenue between the railroad crossing and Holladay Street will be fully upgraded with sidewalks, bike lanes and an intermittent center turn lane. New lights and signage are also being installed as part of the project, and the railroad crossing and several intersections are being improved as well.

NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER OERTELL - A newly built bridge crossing Gales Creek north of Highway 6 will have some paving work done this spring.

Timber and Stringtown bridges

Two bridge replacement projects are also in the works in western Washington County.

A bridge where Northwest Timber Road crosses Gales Creek, just north of Highway 6 in the Glenwood area, was replaced in 2017, and De Lyser told the News-Times that work is "substantially complete." All lanes on the bridge opened to traffic shortly before Christmas weekend.

However, county road crews are waiting until spring to pave the roadway. De Lyser said that "final paving … will require lane closures for a few days."

Closer to Forest Grove proper, another bridge where Northwest Stringtown Road crosses Prickett Creek is also in need of replacement, according to the Washington County Department of Land Use & Transportation. The project website states that the "decaying timber structure" will be replaced with a concrete bridge, necessitating a road closure while that work is being done. But the project isn't expected to be complete until summer 2019.

As with the 10th Avenue project, De Lyser emphasized that dates and times for the bridge projects are tentative.

FILE - Roadwork is taking place around Henry Hagg Lake in 2018, including the replacement of a guardrail on Southwest West Shore Drive.

Henry Hagg Lake

Work is also continuing on the roadways and drainage systems around Henry Hagg Lake, west of the Gaston area.

This spring, county road crews are expected to replace three stream culverts and work to stabilize a landslide north of Southwest Scott Hill Road, on the west side of Hagg Lake.

Southwest West Shore Drive will also receive an asphalt overlay and a new guardrail as part of the third and final phase of the project in 2018. That work is expected to be completed by the fall.

Those project dates are also tentative and could change, and De Lyser said she had no additional information on how that work could impact travel around the Hagg Lake area.

The county's project website states that work around Hagg Lake, which began in 2015, has been scheduled explicitly "to minimize conflicts with organized events at the park and the busy summer season."

In addition to being a major source of water for drinking and irrigation in the region, Hagg Lake is also a popular recreation spot in western Washington County. During the summer months, boats, jet-skis and other watercraft are common sights on the lake. The Washington County Sheriff's Office also stations a marine deputy there during the boating season.

By Mark Miller
Editor, Forest Grove News-Times
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