Auxiliary lane project for Autoroute 217 | News Radio 1190 KEX

Photo: ODOT

A large set of improvements along the OR 217 are underway this month, bringing smoother, safer and more reliable travel on the motorway and new opportunities for other modes of transport.

When completed, the OR 217 Auxiliary Lanes project will improve safety, remove long-standing bottlenecks and complete the parallel north / south cycling and pedestrian network. Starting in December, the public will see the teams and equipment of contractors along the highway with major works and traffic impacts that will begin in January 2022.

The project will operate along the southbound tracks between Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway and OR 99W and along the northbound tracks between OR 99W and Scholls Ferry Road. There are also improvements to adjacent local roads. No road closures are planned around Washington Square during the holiday season.

When complete, travelers can expect less aggravation, smoother travel, and better navigation along this critical seven-mile corridor.

Visit the project website to sign up for regular email updates on the project, including planned closings and project briefings. The upcoming webinars on December 15 and January 11 provide the community with the opportunity to connect directly with the project team.

The project comes after years of community conversations on the OR 217 corridor and thousands of public comments gathered through community meetings, online open houses, emails and phone calls. As design began, the community explained to planners the role OR 217 plays in their lives and the kind of improvements that would help them.

Whenever possible, the work will take place at night in order to mitigate the impact on the public. But daytime work on this project is inevitable with occasional lane closures, ramp closures, and detours during the work.

OR 217, once a local road with traffic lights, connects Beaverton to Tigard with 10 interchanges over just over seven miles, one of the region’s shortest junction spacings. Short interchange spacing on a road with an average of 120,000 vehicles per day results in high accident rates and travel delays

The Allen Boulevard and Denney Road interchanges cause some of the worst bottlenecks. This project will help minimize bottlenecks and help everyone on OR 217 get to where they need to go.

The benefits of the project include:

  • New improvements for pedestrians and bicycles improving local neighborhoods and expanding possibilities for people on foot, on bicycle and on the road.
  • We predict that auxiliary tracks will reduce accidents by 20-30%.
  • A service road for southbound drivers connecting Allen Boulevard and Denney Road, making travel safer for drivers by reducing intersections with the freeway.

The project aligns with our strategic action plan calling for a modern and safe transport system. The effort uses many of the tools needed on a modern road system, including modern road safety devices and full hallway facilities for people on foot and on bikes.

The cost of the $ 158 million project comes primarily from HB 217, the Keep Oregon Moving transportation package approved by the Legislature in 2017. The City of Beaverton and Washington County are also funding partners.

Source: ODOT

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