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ORoads: US Route 26 Projects

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US Route 26 Projects
US Route 26 Projects

The Jackson School Rd. Interchange Project

Work Complete as of November 2005

The Jackson School Rd. project involves building a badly-needed interchange over US-26 at Jackson School Rd. north of Hillsboro. After choosing many plans, one of which included a half-trumpet half-diamond option, the interchange will look like this:

The Jackson School Rd. Interchange 2005

Work was officially completed on the Jackson School Rd. interchange by November 2005. I have not traveled this stretch of highway, so I do not know whether or not the interchange is numbered as Exit 58 or not. Any help would be much appreciated.

The Cornell to Oregon Highway 217 Project

Start Date: May 2004
Major Work Complete as of December 2005

One of the biggest traffic problem spots is US-26 westbound at the OR-217 merge, where four lanes of traffic have to squeeze into two lanes in about ¼ mile. On top of that, they have to contend with people who want to exit onto Cedar Hills Blvd. (Exit 68), making the site accident-prone. This project should eliminate these problems by placing the Cedar Hills offramp before OR-217 traffic merges onto US-26 WB, allowing traffic headed to US-26 WB from OR-217 would go over the offramp; OR-217 traffic bound for Cedar Hills Blvd. would be directed to take the Barnes Rd. offramp. Additionally, traffic from Barnes Rd. would be able to access US-26 WB without going to Cedar Hills Blvd., and US-26 would be widened to three lanes EB and three-to-four lanes WB. The new interchanges would look like this:

The Barnes Rd., OR-217, and Cedar Hills Blvd. Interchanges 2006

As of December 2005, the braided interchange was completed and opened to traffic. I traveled this interchange in mid-December 2005 less than a week after it opened. At this point, construction remnants still remain (cones, etc.), old sign gantries still exist, and the interchange is not landscaped. I imagine the job will be finished within 6 months or so.

The US-26 widening project has also been extended from Murray Blvd. (Exit 67) to Cornell Rd. (Exit 65). However, no complete details about either of those interchanges is available; it most likely involves widening to three lanes each way.

The Camelot to Sylvan Project

Start Date: Summer 2003
Work Complete as of October 2004

Another sticking point on US-26 is the traffic congestion and general confusion of the freeway from the Sylvan interchange (Exit 71/71B) to the Barnes Rd. Interchange (Exit 69B). Five years ago, this stretch of freeway had several at-grade sections, making it dangerous to turn into or out of neighborhoods. Interchanges and merges were poorly designed, and the freeway itself was a narrow four-lane section inadequate for traffic demands. The Camelot to Sylvan Project involves widening US-26 to three lanes each way; improving bridges, ramps and tunnels; removing at-grade intersections at Katherine Lane, Golf Creek Rd., and Pointer Rd.; removing a half-diamond interchange at Camelot Ct. (signed as Cemetary/Mortuary, the would-be Exit 70 WB); and improving traffic flow to/from Scholls Ferry Rd., Canyon Rd. (OR-8), and US-26. A truck lane westbound was also added along the ramp. The new configuration looks like this:

The Camelot (OR-8) and Sylvan Interchanges 2005

In the summer of 2003, the ramp to Canyon Rd. from US-26 WB was temporarily switched from a right exit to a left exit in order to widen the US-26 overpass to three lanes each way; it was switched back on August 14, 2004. ODOT, in the wake of weeks of traffic problems resulting from the first switched, mounted an impressive public signage/announcement campaign for a week beforehand warning of the switch back to normal. Read the press release in PDF here (originally from ODOT).

Work was completed on this interchange by October 2004.

The Powell Repaving Project

Start Date: Fall 2004
Work Complete as of October 2005

This project will involve repaving Powell Blvd. (US-26) from the Ross Island Bridge to SE 50th Ave. in Portland. Furthermore, Tri-Met bus pads will be installed, access from some driveways will be closed, crosswalks will be created or improved, traffic signal loops will be replaced, and numerous safety features will be added, including disability ramps, turn restrictors, and crossing signals.

Work on this project was completed in October 2005.

The Alder and Wildcat Creek Bridges Project

Projected Completion Date: November 2005

There's not much to this project; it involves replacing bridges over Alder and Wildcat Creeks along US-26 east of Sandy. It will take advantage of $1.3 billion in funding to repair Oregon's bridges.

The Wildwood to Wemme Left Turn Improvement Project

Start Date: Sometime in 2008

The name pretty much says it all; ODOT is currently evaluating options for improving left-turns onto roads between Wildwood and Wemme. They are aiming for a solution to be constructed for the 2008 construction season.

The Government Camp Loop Rd. Project

Bidding Begins: Sometime in 2007

The details of this project are preliminary at best, but from what I can gather, access to and from each end of the Government Camp Loop Rd. in Government Camp is a safety concern that needs to be addressed. The specifics aren't available, as the bidding process hasn't even begun yet; it is slated for sometime in 2007.

The Multorpor Undercrossing to Timberline Highway Project

Start Date: Sometime after October 2004

This project involves improving safety improvements between the Multorpor Drive undercrossing and the Timberline Drive (OR-173) turnoff at Government Camp. This section gets really bad during winter months with confusing turns, a poor line of sight, and obsolete configurations. It is unclear exactly what safety improvements will be made or when this work will be completed. It is currently under construction.