Forest Grove reveals changes for Quince-Pacific intersection
In another year, the abuse of an ill-fated telephone pole on the northeastern corner of the Quince Street and Pacific Avenue intersection will end.
Last Thursday, Nov. 5, Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) officials and Forest Grove Public Works employees celebrated the first visual reveal for their coordinated plan to improve the intersection and save the pole, which over the years has seen innumerable tractor-trailers and buses and even a milk truck bang against it.
With a design deadline of early 2016, the estimated $4.2 million project is slated for construction in 2017.
"It's about time," said 30-year Forest Grove resident Kurt Savage. "It's a terrible place to turn ... you ever seen that telephone pole?"
According to Public Works Director Rob Foster, the pole or at least the turn north from westbound Pacific Avenue is the primary reason the project was initiated at all.
A second consideration was to create a dedicated right-turn lane for southbound traffic on Quince Street.
"We want to keep the traffic flowing on red," Foster said. "Right now, traffic sometimes backs up all the way to the railroad tracks."
Additional improvements include:
n Bike lanes on the east and north side of the intersection.
n Sidewalks and ramps that meet Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.
n Adding a raised median on the east side of the intersection to eliminate dangerous left turns from driveways in the area.
n Mirror the turning lanes on the northeast and northwest side of the intersection to match those that have already been improved on the south side.
To fund the multi-million-dollar project, the city and ODOT is using money from Washington County's Major Streets Transportation Improvement Program (MSTIP), Metro's Metropolitan Transportation Improvement Program (MTIP), ODOT's road improvement funds for enhancement projects, and $200,000 of the city's own traffic impact money from the deal it made with WalMart about eight years ago when the chain store got approval to set up shop at the corner of North Adair Street and North 4th Avenue in Cornelius.
Because the store didn't cause the kinds of traffic issues the city originally expected, the money was never used for any road projects until now, that is.
At the open house, the community response was mostly positive.
"This has been needed for so long," said lifelong Forest Grove resident Wally Otto, who has taken to cycling for transportation since his retirement. For bicyclists, "it gives a safer pathway through a busy intersection," he said. "I'm glad to see the hazard removed."JW_DISQUS_ADD_A_COMMENT