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Washington County's road project in Cornelius is set to mostly wrap up in October.

STAFF PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER OERTELL - Construction signage, cones and orange-and-white barriers are impossible to miss at 10th Avenue's intersections with Adair, Baseline and Alpine streets in Cornelius.Roadwork crews are closing in on finishing upgrades to 10th Avenue in Cornelius, according to Washington County officials.

Heather Sturgill, a spokeswoman for the Washington County Department of Land Use & Transportation, said the lengthy process of reconstructing 10th Avenue's intersections with Adair and Baseline streets and its crossing of the railroad tracks south of Highway 8, installing new utility lines, adding sidewalks, and repaving the road is "nearing completion."

Design work started on the project back in 2012, with major construction beginning last year. The work has required multiple weeks-long closures of 10th Avenue, a major north-south route through Cornelius, with the most recent closure at Alpine Street ending Friday, July 20.

But Sturgill indicated the end is in sight.

"The project is scheduled to be significantly completed by Oct. 31," she said in an email, responding to questions about the road project. "There will be a 'punch list' after that date. Usually, these are minor items that are largely invisible to the public."

Once complete, 10th Avenue between the railroad crossing and Holladay Street will be fully upgraded with sidewalks, bike lanes and an intermittent center turn lane. New lights and signage are also being installed as part of the project, and the railroad crossing and several intersections are being improved as well.

There is still a substantial list of work that is yet to be done, which Sturgill provided in an email. Much of the remaining work has to do with completing utility connections, removing poles and completing the new sidewalks on either side of 10th Avenue.

Lane restrictions will continue on an "intermittent" basis on 10th Avenue and Adair and Baseline streets, between 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. weekdays, as work continues on the project.

"Additional lane closures will be needed for paving, tentatively scheduled for late September, and striping approximately two weeks after paving is completed," Sturgill added.

For much of the second half of 2017, a closure was in effect on 10th Avenue in between Holladay Street, the northern limit of the county road project, and Adair Street.

This spring and summer, motorists have been routed around closures of 10th Avenue both north and south of Baseline Street, the eastbound stretch of Highway 8 through Cornelius.

Within Cornelius city limits, 10th Avenue is actually a city-maintained road, according to Ryan Wells, the city's community development director. However, he noted, it is recognized as a regionally significant freight route.

Washington County agreed to take on the $8 million project as part of its Major Streets Transportation Improvement Program, which routinely funds improvements to roads considered important to regional transportation throughout the county.

North of Cornelius, 10th Avenue continues as Cornelius-Schefflin Road, providing a connection to Highway 26, North Plains and Mountaindale.

South of Cornelius, 10th Avenue becomes Golf Course Road, terminating at the Forest Hills Golf Course in the Blooming area, where it intersects with Tongue Lane, which connects with Hillsboro Highway about three miles to the east.

By Mark Miller
Editor, Forest Grove News-Times
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