Construction on Main Street and other projects set for 2013

Construction is expected to begin on Southwest Main Street this year. Construction crews will widen sidewalks and add environmentally sustainabile features for stormwater drainage.What does 2013 hold for Tigard? A lot of change for downtown.

Along with a new mayor, who will be sworn in Tuesday at City Hall, the city is planning to start construction on its “Tigard Main Street Green Street” project, which aims to make the city’s downtown more pedestrian friendly.

Tigard has been working for years on new construction along Southwest Main Street, and plans are to make the street more accessible to pedestrians and bring more business into the downtown core.

Construction will focus on the southern half of Main Street from Pacific Highway at Southwest Johnson Street to railroad tracks near Southwest Commercial Street.

While some business owners have expressed concerns that construction will negatively impact business, city officials say it will work to ensure customers can easily get through Main Street to area businesses throughout the duration.

When finished, officials say the new road should improve circulation from both drivers and pedestrians and slow down traffic along the road, making it more accessible to shoppers and less enticing for drivers who use the road as a shortcut around Pacific Highway.

The hope is that construction will transform Main Street into a “green street,” adding more environmentally friendly amenities, including holding cells for storm runoff.

Main Street’s signature angled parking will remain, as well as a new public parking lot expected on the corner of Southwest Burnham Street at Main, across from the Tigard Liquor Store. The 19-space parking lot will include charging stations for electric vehicles.

Construction crews will also widen sidewalks and add new street lighting and trees.

by: JAIME VALDEZ - In 2012 the city purchased three buildings near Fanno Creek on Southwest Main Street. Redeveloping the three sites are part of a series of improvements meant to bring more people to Tigard's downtown.The construction is part of a larger effort to revitalize the downtown, which will come to a head in 2013.

When construction wraps, the city will break ground on two large public art projects at each end of Main Street.

The art, which has yet to be designed, will be built in tandem with two large gateway signs, similar to one built on Southwest Burnham Street and Hall Boulevard, welcoming people downtown.

The city also has plans to build a new public plaza, those plans have yet to be finalized.

In 2012, the city purchased several buildings in the downtown core near Fanno Creek, which it plans to redevelop.

The hope is that through the addition of new retail shops, reconfiguring the road and adding more parking, the long-struggling downtown core might be able to get back on its feet.

The city isn’t alone in its commitment to the downtown. The Tigard Area Farmer’s Market announced last month that it would move downtown in 2013, starting this summer at the city’s Public Works building on Burnham Street.

A $2.5 million grant from Metro and other sources will help finance the Main Street project.

The city re-constructed the other half of Main Street, from Commercial Street east to Pacific Highway in 2010 during construction on Pacific Highway and Greenburg Road.

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