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  • 30 Jun 2015

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McLoughlin Boulevard closure this weekend

Avoid Milwaukie this weekend! That’s the message from ODOT and TriMet officials, who say if you’re planning to drive between Oregon City/Gladstone and Portland you should take Interstate 205.

McLoughlin Boulevard/Highway 99E will be closed south of Southeast Washington Street and north of River Road/Bluebird Street from 10 p.m. Friday, June 12, to 5 a.m. Monday, June 15, while crews adjust the Kellogg light-rail bridge.

Access to Milwaukie businesses will be maintained for motorists, but if you’re headed northbound, you’ll have to follow detour signs along Oatfield Road to Highway 224. Southbound drivers will have to find detours from downtown Milwaukie or Southeast Portland into Oak Grove from Highway 224 to Webster Road or from I-205.

“We didn’t want everyone using the same detour, and if you’re a local driver, you pretty much are going to be familiar with the streets in the area,” said Mary Fetsch, TriMet spokeswoman.

Bus Line 33 will be detoured to Oatfield Road via Park Avenue. ODOT is planning to have flaggers restrict some turning movements to keep traffic flowing more efficiently.

Unlike the McLoughlin closure in August 2013, the Trolley Trail’s current route is in place and will not be affected by construction, so people can walk or bike from Gladstone to Milwaukie.

Brendan Eiswerth, a manager at the Milwaukie Sunday Farmers Market, pointed out another possible advantage to 2013’s McLoughlin closure. ODOT will have crews working 24 hours a day to complete the work in the shortest time possible, so the detour may be lifted by the time the market opens at 9:30 a.m. Either way, the market doesn’t expect a large dropoff in sales for its more than 75 vendors who are having a record-breaking season, so far.

“We had fewer customers last time, but it wasn’t as bad as we expected,” Eiswerth said.

Street lights coming

Business owners, community leaders and public officials came together last week to celebrate the kickoff of a petition-signing process to join the local lighting district so that streetlights can be provided along McLoughlin Boulevard in unincorporated Clackamas County between the cities of Gladstone and Milwaukie.

Clackamas County Service District No. 5, the agency responsible for street lighting in unincorporated Clackamas County, is working with the McLoughlin Area Plan Implementation Team (MAP-IT) and the McLoughlin Area Business Alliance to help bring street lighting to the three-quarter-mile stretch.

MAP-IT hosted the celebration at its June 2 meeting. With a successful petition drive, CCSD #5, working with Portland General Electric and the Oregon Department of Transportation, will install streetlights along McLoughlin, and the property owners will pay the operational costs of the lights.

Business owners signing the petition on June 2 were joined by Clackamas County Chairman John Ludlow and Commissioner Paul Savas and Metro Councilor Carlotta Colette. They celebrated how street lighting can deter crime and vandalism; help emergency response agencies identify property addresses more rapidly; aid neighborhood watch teams; make it easier to find an entrance or driveway at night; and make a community safer, and more friendly and accessible to pedestrians after dark.

CCSD No. 5 contracts with PGE to install, operate and maintain streetlights. The lighting is funded by yearly assessments on the property tax statements of all benefited properties within the assessment areas of the service district.

2017 project

ODOT will begin construction in 2017 to repave 2.6 miles of McLoughlin from Southeast Harold Street in Portland to Harrison Street in Milwaukie.

The pavement, last replaced in 1994, has deteriorated. The current striping will be replaced with durable, profiled thermoplastic striping and reflective pavement markings.

The Crystal Springs Creek Bridge also will be replaced with a new culvert.

The project team has begun work and design is expected to be complete in summer 2016.

The majority of work will take place at night when traffic volumes are lower. Those traveling by car, bike or on foot will experience delays and intermittent detours throughout construction. A limited number of full weekend closures on McLoughlin in the northbound direction are being considered. As the project design progresses, more details will be shared about traffic impacts and detours.

For more information, to provide comments or be added to the mailing list, contact Lili Boicourt, ODOT Community Affairs at 503-731-8247 or Lili.D.Boicourt@odot.state.or.us.