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City secures $4 million grant for Boones Ferry Road project

Funds will help pay for first phase of bike and pedestrian improvements

Lake Oswego’s Boones Ferry Road Improvement Project got a significant nudge forward last week when the city secured an additional $4 million toward pedestrian and bikeway improvements on the stretch between the Oakridge Road-Reese Road intersection and Madrona Street.

The City Council voted unanimously to authorize Mayor Kent Studebaker to sign a Local Agency Agreement with the Oregon Department of Transportation, making the city eligible for a federal grant from the Multimodal Transportation Enhance Program.

The Oregon Department of Transportation will distribute the funds through its Statewide Transportation Improvement Program.

“ODOT is now in the process of signing it,” Redevelopment Director Brant Williams said.

The funding, combined with a $5 million general obligation bond approved by voters in 2012, will help pay for the first phase of an improvement project that is expected to begin construction in mid-2017 and last about two years. Engineering and design work is already underway.

Under the agreement with ODOT, the city is responsible for execution of the project, including design, acquiring right-of-ways — expected to cost about $3.5 million — and construction. The acquired right-of-ways will enable the city to build bicycle lanes at a width of five feet, to extend the width of existing sidewalks from about four feet to nine feet and to fill in sidewalk gaps in front of Riccardo’s Ristorante and Bank of America.

The city says it expects urban renewal funds to cover the cost of construction, although there remains some disagreement on council about how to pay for the rest of the project’s $26.9 million first phase. Options include issuing interest-only debt for the first three years of the project as the city’s tax base continues to grow, or breaking the project down further into smaller phases.

The Boones Ferry Road Improvement Plan is enabled by the 2008 adoption of the Lake Grove Village Center Plan. The first phase focuses on the half-mile stretch of Boones Ferry Road that starts south of Madrona Street and ends just north of the intersection at Oakridge and Reese roads. In addition to the bike lanes and sidewalk improvements, refinements include improved lighting, landscaped medians with improved turn lanes, street trees and furniture, repavement and undergrounding utilities.

In this phase of the project, the city will also:

-- install three additional pedestrian crossings — at the intersection of Boones Ferry Road and Lanewood Street; 375 feet south of the intersection of Oakridge and Reese roads; and 550 feet south of Firwood and Bryant roads;

-- add two new signalized intersections, with crossings at the Firwood and Bryant intersection and the Oakridge and Reese intersection; and

-- build two new bus shelters, one at the Firwood and Bryant intersection and one at Madrona Street.

The second phase of the project will continue north to Kruse Way.

The city says the initial upgrades are essential to the “significant economic center” of Lake Grove Village, which houses about 40 retail shops, 100 businesses, Lake Grove Elementary School and a post office — an area identified as lacking pedestrian crossing opportunities and safe and convenient pedestrian and bicycle access.

The city is responsible for hiring the construction contractor and for managing the contract. ODOT is responsible for hiring the design engineering firm that will prepare plans. The design firm WHPacific is already under contract, Williams said.

Contact Saundra Sorenson at 503-636-1281 ext. 107 or ssorenson@lakeoswegoreview.com.


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