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Road expected to be closed for five months starting in fall

Villa Road could be closed for five months beginning this fall as the city continues construction work on a section north of George Fox University.

The city held a public meeting last week at Newberg Christian Church to explain the next phase of work to community members.

City Engineer Kaaren Hofmann said in an email that up to 35 people attended the meeting, most of whom expressed overall support for the road project. GRAPHIC FILE PHOTO - With construction of culverts along Villa Road near Hess Creek completed last year, city staff plan to move into a new phase of work on Villa Road later this year as they put utilities underground. Villa Road is expected to be closed for approximately five months beginning this fall.

Entering its third year, the project is designed to improve the roadway's surface and alignment from Haworth Avenue to Park Lane in order to make the road more efficient for cars and trucks and safer for bicyclists and pedestrians, according to the city's website.

While design of the project started in July 2015, actual construction began in July 2016 with the replacement of several fish-friendly culverts that resulted in the closure of the thoroughfare for several months. During that work along Hess Creek, city staff reported catching and relocating more than 400 fish, including native species of lamprey, crayfish, sculpin and redline shiner.

In the next stage of work, the city plans to put utilities underground and perform service reconnections between fall 2017 and winter 2018, according to city documents. That could result in the road being closed for roughly five months, with a detour route in effect.

However, the city expects partial road closures outside of that time with flaggers on hand to direct traffic.

City staff expect work to occur from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays with no work on evenings, weekends or holidays unless specifically authorized by the city.

Over the summer, city staff will secure a contractor for the job, get city council approval and plan to post notice of the work by August.

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