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Council to consider regional transportation priorities


Regional transportation projects continue to be a high priority for the Hillsboro City Council.

The council is scheduled to discuss three major transportation projects in Washington County at its Tuesday, Jan. 15 meeting. They are the proposed study of a new westside transportation corridor, the status of the current Tualatin Valley Highway study, and request to the 2013 Oregon Legislature to widen U.S. 26 between the 185th Avenue and the Cornelius Pass Road interchanges.

The council had previously approved asking the Legislature to require the Oregon Department of Transportation to study a new transportation corridor through the county between I-5 near Wilsonville and I-5 near the Port of Portland. It was perceived by some to be only a request for a freeway study.

In response, staff from the Oregon Governor’s Office requested that the emphasis be changed to finding the right mix of road and multi-modal improvements to help the broadest range of potential users.

Mayor Jerry Willey is now asking the council to accept a recommendation worked out by a committee representing state, regional, county and city transportation agencies. It still calls for the study to be funded this year.

In addition, the council is scheduled to receive a report on the Tualatin Valley Highway Corridor Plan, which is being funded with a Transportation and Growth Management Grant. It is intended to identify solutions for reducing congestion and increasing mobility along the Hillsboro and Beaverton regional centers. It runs the 8.5 miles from the 10th Avenue and Washington Street intersection in Hillsboro to Cedar Hills Boulevard in Beaverton.

The study is looking for short-term, mid-term and long-term solutions to transportation problems in the corridor, including how to best accommodate the residential and commercial increases being considered in South Hillsboro, in what is now unincorporated Washington County.

The TVHCP is intended to help guide future transportation funding decision in the study corridor.

And the council is scheduled to review its agenda for the 2013 Oregon Legislature, which includes requesting funds for the U.S. 26 widening project.