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Safety upgrades coming for TV Highway

HILLSBORO TRIBUNE FILE PHOTO - Road construction is set to begin to improve traffic flow and safety in the area of Southwest Tualatin Valley Highway and 185th Avenue.An Oregon Department of Transportation Project along five blocks of Southwest Tualatin Valley Highway in Aloha is set to begin soon.

The safety project between Southwest 182nd and 187th avenues will create congestion and delays for motorist, bicyclists and pedestrians. The year-long project — slated for completion in fall 2016 — is intended to improve safety along the dangerous stretch of road. The project will cost an estimated $3.8 million.

According to ODOT, the crash rate in this section of TV Highway is very high, and is one of the top safety concerns in Washington County. From the beginning of 2010 through November 2014, there were 176 crashes in the project area, 54 percent of them resulting in injuries, with one fatality.

The most significant safety concern is the high number of rear-end and turning crashes on TV Highway on either side of 185th Avenue.

While some crashes may be related to congestion in the 185th Avenue intersection area, many crashes take place outside commute hours when the intersection is not as congested.

ODOT plans the following improvements to increase safety by minimizing vehicle conflicts:

n Install a raised traffic separator on TV Highway from 182nd to 187th avenues. All turns will still be available at the 185th and 187th avenue intersections.

n Add 49 new LED street lights along Tualatin Valley Highway from 178th to 192nd avenues and along 185th Avenue from Alexander to Blanton streets to increase nighttime visibility.

n Construct new bus stop pullouts to the far sides (after the traffic light) of the TV Highway and 185th Avenue intersection. By installing pullouts, buses will not block traffic flow while unloading and loading passengers.

n Upgraded signs and supplemental signal heads will be installed to provide drivers clearer information.

n Pedestrian countdown signals will be installed on all four corners of the TV Highway/185th intersection.

n U-turns on TV Highway at 185th Avenue will be allowed in both directions for motorists to safely access driveways without making left turns.

For more information, visit oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/REGION1/ and click on “Oregon Highway 8 Projects.”

The website will be updated weekly once construction begins to alert motorists of traffic impacts.