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Complete streets, paths, trails among $19.5 million in FHWA grants for Oregon

Posted by on August 18th, 2011 at 1:15 pm

Get Together in Outer SE-2

The FHWA awarded over $800,000 to build
a multi-use path and sidewalks
on SE Division in Gresham.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Yesterday, City Council passed a request for nearly $8 million in federal funding for active transportation projects. While our attention was on City Hall, the US Department of Transportation announced over $400 million in Federal Highway Administration grants — of which $19.5 million will flow to 16 projects throughout Oregon.

Below are a few of the projects on the list that caught my eye:

  • Improving southbound ramp to I-5 Kuebler Interchange in Marion County – $3,625,000
  • Developing I-5 Columbia River Crossing project – $3,000,000
  • Constructing a 1.6-mile, 12-foot-wide, multiuse, ADA-accessible trail through the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail to improve access for bicycles and pedestrians – $2,109,000
  • Constructing multi-use path to connect the Lava Lands Visitors’ Center, located at the Newberry National Volcanic Monument, to Sunriver – $1,877,000
  • Improving access on US 20/Cascade Avenue by upgrading pavement and reconstructing sidewalks – $1,660,606
  • Making safety improvements to U.S. 26 Mill Creek Jefferson County Line – $923,000
  • Constructing Division Street Corridor “Complete Street” multiuse paths and sidewalks – $832,640
  • Constructing a trail and installing signs on Pacific Coast Scenic Byway – $412,930

While some readers will lament yet another $3 million being plunked into the controversial CRC project and a whopping $3.625 simply to “improve” one ramp on one freeway; there are other projects that should make you happy.

The 1.6 miles of trail on the Historic Columbia River Highway is a welcome win for that project and for the many people who ride in the Gorge. According to the project description, the $2.1 million will be used to create a 12-foot wide path from John B. Yeon State Park to Moffett Creek that will allow “hikers and cyclists” to “no longer have to share the shoulder of I-84 with trucks and cars traveling at speeds often exceeding 65 mph.”

A carfree bicycling and walking link from Newberry National Volcanic Monument to Sunriver is also great news. My family and I have ridden bikes all over Sunriver’s many miles of bike paths and being able to connect to the volcano sites will be fantastic.

The City of Gresham nabbed $832,640 for the SE Division Street “complete street” project. I’m still trying to track down where exactly the money will be spent, but the grant award notice from USDOT describes it like this:

“The project will construct multiuse paths and sidewalks to provide direct access to transit, extend curbs to narrow travel lanes, and construct a pedestrian crossing refuge island with a flashing beacon in a location that exceeds pedestrian crossing warrants and serves adjacent businesses and residents as well as two schools.”

After the big day at City Council yesterday, these FHWA grants are more positive news for Portland and for Oregon.

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DC
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DC

I’ve never seen the southbound Kuebler ramp on I-5 as a problem. It has a long lane to merge with, not really worth this money.

Todd Boulanger
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Todd Boulanger

Any idea what Washington State got (SW Washington)?

Todd Boulanger
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Todd Boulanger

As for the Gorge – this sounds great, as some of the worst sections for bicycle (touring) safety are the highway bridges, due to the lack of shoulder (in my recent experience). I hope it addresses a few of these.

Paul Johnson
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Paul Johnson

What’s this about a MUP on Division? Hadn’t heard of that project. The only thing remotely resembling a MUP on Division that I can find is a 150-foot-long cycleway (not a multi-use path, but an actual cycleway) on the proposed 80s Greenway. The cycleway would contain the eastbound bike lane for Division, doubling as the northbound lane for The 80s Greenway; with the opposite lane being the southbound lane for the same bike boulevard.

This isn’t a multiuse path, and technically, while it parallels Division, it’s part of The 80s Greenway.

Matt M
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Matt M

You might consider revising the beginning of this story to reflect that yesterday’s council action was a request for funds:
“Yesterday, City Council requested nearly $8 million of federal funding for active transportation projects from Metro.”

Steve B
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I can’t wait for the Columbia River Highway connection! Great news!!

Trekxc
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Trekxc

The improvement on Division would be greatly appreciated by many! And, the CRH connection…awesome!