Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on July 3rd, 2014 at 1:49 pm
Back in October we shared an early look at the Oregon Department of Transportation’s plans to revamp several paths and roads just north of downtown Kenton. That project, what ODOT calls the OR 99W: N. Victory Boulevard to N. Argyle Street Improvement Project, is now fully designed and is set to begin construction this fall.
N Denver Avenue is the main focus of the changes. It’s a vital connection between the growing Kenton Neighborhood and many popular destinations. With recent new additions to 40-Mile Loop path along the Columbia Slough, the ever-popular racing and other attractions at nearby Portland International Raceway, and two major shopping centers nearby, this $4 million project will have a significant impact on many people — especially those of us who ride bikes.
Highlights of the project include:
A new off-highway, 10-foot wide shared-use path thatwill go from Victory Blvd (near the TriMet Park & Ride at entrance to PIR) all the way to Schmeer Road. Currently the northbound transition from Denver Avenue to Schmeer is a rarely used section of the road with pavement that’s in terrible shape. ODOT plans to repurpose that road and make it open only for walking and biking. It will connect folks directly from Denver onto Schmeer or to the new path on the Columbia Slough levee.
Also at the Denver/Schmeer intersection, ODOT will add a new traffic signal. This will benefit bicycling conditions by helping to slow down speeds in what is currently a location where many people drive too fast.
North South of Schmeer, on the bridge viaduct between the slough and N. Argyle, ODOT will re-stripe the traffic lanes and rehab the bridge structure. The standard lanes will be 12-feet wide (about a half-foot narrower than they are now) and the bike-only lanes will be six-feet wide plus an additional two-foot “striping buffer”. The sidewalk on the east side of the viaduct will also be improved by the addition of a new railing to further separate roadway traffic.
It’s important to note that this construction will come with significant detours as roads close and traffic is re-routed away from the area. You can check current detour plans on the project page and we’ll keep you posted on the specifics as construction gets underway (follow us on Twitter @bikeportland for the latest).
Construction is estimated to be completed by fall of 2015.