Safety improvements slated for 82nd Avenue

Learn the plans ODOT is making to make this State road more pedestrian and handicapped friendly …

ODOT official Bob Atchinson explains to neighbors which outer East Portland intersections along SE 82nd Avenue will be getting a “makeover”, starting in a year or so.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Neighbors and businesspeople gathered at an Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) open house, held at Vestal Elementary School, to learn about the plans the state-wide agency has for improving safety along 82nd Avenue of Roses.

Officially, the project is named the “Oregon Highway 213 Intersection Improvement Projects”, said ODOT Project Manager Matt Freitag at the November 19 open house.

This ODOT illustration shows where “Oregon Highway 213 Intersection Improvement Projects” will be located.

ODOT Project Manager Matt Freitag and ?ODOT Region 1 Government Liaison Kelly Scannell Brooks answer questions about the work their agency plans to do at area intersections.

“The focus is on improving safety, specifically at six intersections along 82nd Avenue, known as ‘safety location problem areas’ – part of the ‘High Crash Corridor’,” Freitag told East Portland News.

“We are replacing traffic control signals at those intersections,” Freitag went on. “At the same time, we are making improvements to the sidewalk ramps, to make them ADA compliant. These changes will also make pedestrians more visible.”

Mike Allen and Virginia Feininger came separately to this ODOT open house to find out how proposed changes will affect their respective neighborhoods.

Overall, the project Manager said, they’re now about halfway into the Design Phase. “We’re working to design the ‘footprint’ for these modifications, and checking to see what rights-of-way we need to purchase.

“We’re also finalizing our design, so we know what the signals are going to be – and what the sidewalk limits are going to be,” Freitag added.

Many neighbors come to learn about the changes that ODOT is planning for key intersections along 82nd Avenue.

The total price tag for the six intersection project will come in between $6 million and $7 million. “These are a combination of project sizes,” Freitag stated. “Major intersections, such as Division, Stark, and Washington streets are more costly; and changes at Mill and Yamhill and Burnside streets are medium-sized projects.”

Construction will probably begin early in 2016. “We will open bids in about a year – likely in October of 2015,” Freitag said. “Usually, it takes the contractor a couple of months to get up to speed and begin construction, once the contract has been let.”

For more information, and to get project updates, see ODOT’s project-specific website: CLICK HERE.

© 2014 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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