Foster Road makeover project underway

See how the ‘streetscape’ along Foster Road has already changed, and what to expect while driving through the area …

Drivers in the Lents Town Center area of outer East Portland are already experiencing construction detours as the “Foster Transportation and Streetscape Project” is underway.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Construction work is already bringing changes to SE Foster Road, from 50th Avenue to the western edge of the Lents Town Center at SE 91st Avenue. The project underway this summer, actually began in 2012. That’s when a stakeholder advisory committee called the “Foster Corridor Investment Strategy” was founded, which began discussing revitalizing retail business along the street and increasing pedestrian safety.

> To see how this project developed, see our coverage of one of their meetings,
with links to other articles: CLICK HERE.

Over time, it became the “Foster Transportation and Streetscape Project”, but it sat fallow while the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) and allied agencies worked to collect resources for what became a $9 million project.

SE Foster Road drivers are experiencing the “road diet” effect of removing motor vehicle traffic lanes from the street.

In early July of this year, work began on this well-used thoroughfare as contractors ground off lane markings, and restriped the pavement, narrowing Foster Road from two traffic lanes in each direction to a single driving lane each way for cars and trucks, with a turn lane in the middle.

But the heavy construction work this summer got underway east of SE 82nd Avenue of Roses, as contractors began digging out pavement down to the roadbed, rerouting utilities, repaving, and widening sidewalks in the Lents Town Center area between SE 89th Avenue and 84th/Ellis Street. This project will continue through September.

This new streetscape design will “support and enhance the growing mix of businesses and residences in the neighborhood,” PBOT says. PBOT artist’s streetscape conception

According to PBOT Media Contact John Brady, by this fall SE Foster Road will have these improvements:

  • New, upgraded traffic signals at SE Holgate and 72nd Avenue.
  • New median refuge islands with rapid flash beacons at six locations: SE 58th, SE Mall, SE 65th, SE 69th, SE 74th and SE 84th Avenue.
  • New center turn lane and bicycle lanes from SE 52nd to 90th Avenue.
  • New street trees and ornamental street lighting.
  • Upgraded ADA curb ramps at 69 locations.

“The changes to the street and urban design will transform Foster Road from a high-speed, auto-oriented corridor into a more balanced streetscape, that is safer and more accessible for people walking, biking, taking public transit, and driving,” Brady said.

Keep an eye out for lane detours and heavy construction equipment while driving along SE Foster Road.

So, use caution as you drive through work zones, and observe the posted speed limits in the construction area as you motor along SE Foster Road this summer and fall.

© 2018 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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