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Walmart construction to begin in May, June

by: TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - The empy lot near the Tigard Costco will soon be home to a large Walmart supercenter. The store and several road construction improvements are set to begin this spring.Tigard residents are no strangers to the sights and sounds of construction, and this summer there will be plenty of construction underway with improvements to Highway 99W near Beef Bend Road and Main Street.

But residents will also be contending with major improvements to Highway 217 and Southwest 72nd Avenue as crews begin work on construction a new Walmart supercenter in the Tigard Triangle.

The retail giant announced last March that it had would build a new store near the corner of Southwest 72nd Avenue and Southwest Dartmouth Street, joining a sea of other big-box competitors in northern Tigard, with Costco, Winco, Petsmart and OfficeMax a stone’s throw away.

The 137,900-square-foot supercenter is expected to begin construction this spring, but along with pouring concrete and erecting walls, crews will also have to make substantial improvements to many of Tigard’s roads to accommodate for the expected increase to the city’s already congested roadways.

In a letter to about 3,000 residents and businesses dated April 2, Deborah Herron, Walmart’s director of public affairs and government relations laid out some of the construction challenges that residents will face over the next year.

Construction to begin this spring, summer

Construction on the supercenter and road improvements are expected to begin in May or June, Herron said, and is likely to continue through late summer or early fall of 2014.

The Walmart store is expected to open sometime in 2014.

The city and Oregon's Department of Transportation require Walmart to make extensive road improvements to area roads, which have long been congested and will only get worse when the world’s largest retailer opens its newest store in Oregon.

Under its development plans with the city and ODOT, Walmart will have to widen Pacific Highway, adding a westbound lane, widening Highway 217 near the Southwest 72nd Avenue exit to accommodate the expected traffic increase.

Three new traffic signals will also be installed along Dartmouth Street.

Walmart will also be widening Dartmouth Street between the Costco and Winco, as well as adding a through lane on 72nd Avenue between Hampton Street and Beveland Street, and adding a left-turn land from 72nd Avenue onto Beveland.

Herron said that some of the construction would occur at night.

A wetland next to the property between the proposed Walmart and Costco will be preserved under an agreement with the city.

Before construction begins, Herron plans to host a meeting several weeks prior to construction, where residents can meet with the contractor and share the project timelines.

Those meetings haven’t been scheduled yet.

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