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Pipeline construction can be well-managed

A small band of West Linn citizens is in overdrive putting a scare into us about what the Lake Oswego and Tigard water project means for Highway 43 motorists and businesses. You’d think that, reading those anonymous mailings, the world will end when this large but perfectly ordinary project moves its first shovel of dirt.

The truth is that unless you make a steady habit of driving the Highway 43 between 8 at night and 5 in the morning, you may not notice much of a difference once pipeline construction begins. If your business is open during those hours, the construction crews will make sure customers have access to your property at all times. And let’s not forget that this is pipeline construction. The pipe will be laid at a rate of 50 feet or more per night.

In addition to nighttime construction, ODOT requires that all equipment and supplies be stored off the road during the day. This means that all lanes will be unobstructed during the day.

So how about daytime traffic from the water plant construction itself?

Yes, over the life of the project thousands of trips will be made, but during the most intensive few months of construction, traffic will add only one-third of one percent to existing traffic loads on the state highway.

We should not kid ourselves. Pipeline construction will be a temporary inconvenience for residents. Construction of the water treatment plant will be a headache for the closest neighbors. This is why we should insist that the city of West Linn enforce every promise made by the LO Tigard Water Partnership in its construction management plan.

The doomsday language used by opponents is irresponsible and simply out of proportion with the facts.

Brian Hawkins

West Linn



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