by: Jonathan House, Cars back up at a stoplight on Southwest Farmington Road near Kinnaman Road, where two lanes merge to one. The county will hold an open house Wednesday to discuss its project to widen the road.

Residents with questions involving improvements to Farmington Road from Southwest 170th Avenue to Kinnaman Road can ask the contractor directly at an open house set for Wednesday at Mountain View Middle School.

The open house runs from 5 to 7 p.m. at the school, 17500 S.W. Farmington Road.

Plans are to widen the roadway to five lanes. That includes constructing one additional travel lane in each direction, building a center turn lane and median and adding bike lanes and street lights along one-quarter of a mile of roadway.

The intersection at Farmington and Kinnaman will get new traffic signals, corner ramps to meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and an additional 300 feet of sidewalk.

Besides improving safety, officials say the project will reduce congestion on Farmington that causes delays between 170th Avenue and Kinnaman Road.

Project construction could begin as early as the end of the week, according to Dan Erpenbach, project manager for the Washington County Land Use and Transportation Department.

'They're required to have it done in 90 days once they break ground,' said Erpenbach, adding that the contractor, Dow Brothers Inc. could choose Aug. 15 as a alternative deadline. 'I want them done before school starts.'

In addition to replacing the traffic signal at Kinnaman, a new signal will be placed at 170th Avenue. Both of those lights will rely on a video detection system to activate them instead of the standard magnetic ground loops.

Design drawings will be displayed at the open house, along with information on the construction schedule, construction plans, and right-of-way limits.

Members of the project team and the private construction contractor will be available to answer questions. The project's cost, including design, right-of-way, and construction, is an estimated $1.3 million.

It is being paid for by local property taxes under the umbrella of the county's Major Streets Transportation Improvement Program, also known as MSTIP.

Although Farmington is still designated a state highway, the county is gradually taking possession of it as improvements are made.

'The state has jurisdiction between 170th and 198th,' said Erpenbach. 'Eventually its all going to be under county jurisdiction.'

For more information, contact Erpenbach at 503-846-7877 or via email at

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