Initially slated for spring 2017, a project that will create a protected bike path on Greeley Avenue in north Portland has been delayed again and isn’t expect to be built until spring 2019.
The Portland Bureau of Transportation plans to piggyback on a repaving project on Greeley between Interstate and Going in order to create the new bikeway. The current street cross-section of four standard vehicle lanes and two unprotected bike lanes is very dangerous and stressful. People drive very fast at this location and bicycle riders in the southbound direction are forced to negotiate a freeway onramp with auto users traveling over 50 miles per hour.
We first reported on this project 16 months ago when PBOT said it would be done in spring or summer of 2017. Then in July 2017 PBOT said a contracting glitch forced them to push the project back another year.
The latest news we’ve heard is that the project has been delayed again. Here’s the lowdown from PBOT:
The multi-use path (MUP) project originally came to light in 2017 because this stretch of N Greeley showed up on PBOT’s repaving list. In 2017, the project was delayed due to contracting rules limiting the dollar amount of work that could be done by PBOT maintenance forces.
As the project team continued to work on design of the multi-use path, it became evident that the entire width of N Greely would need to be repaved at the same time that the barrier was installed. When the barrier is installed, the road will need to restriped. The pavement is in such bad shape that the stripe removal needed in order to restripe would leave potentially dangerous “ghost stripes.”
When the project shifted from barrier installation and paving of the MUP to full-width paving, the team realized that we would not have time to complete the design, contract out the project, and acquire the barrier in time to catch the dry weather window needed for paving in 2018. Fabrication of the barrier will require a six to eight week lead time; the contracting process takes three to four months from advertising to notice to proceed. Another factor in the decision to push out the project was the timing of the bid. If we hurried to construct in 2018, we would’ve gone to bid in August. Our experience has been that bids that late in the “paving season” tend to be very high, plus all of the paving contractors are already booked for the season by that time.
We will have the contractor on board and ready to go in spring of 2019.
PBOT’s plans call for a two-way, 12-foot wide multi-use path on the
west east side of the street separated from other road users by a continuous concrete (“jersey”) barrier. The path will be adjacent to four other travel lanes (the same amount there is today). Since the new path will be bi-directional, it means southbound bicycle riders will need to use a new signal to cross Greeley at Going to continue southbound (the existing bike lane will be removed). This movement will mean much slower travel times for bicycle users in exchange for the expected safety benefits (the southbound bike lanes currently allow bicycle users a very fast and direct route to Interstate).
For more on this project, check the official project page and our related posts below.
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