Last week we reported on a project that will close NW Cornelius Pass Road between Highway 30 and NW Germantown Road to through traffic for 13 weeks starting July 8th. Cornelius Pass is a major highway that connects Washington County (near Highway 26) with Scappoose and other destinations along Highway 30.
This is a big deal for bicycle riders because the project will detour thousands of people driving cars and trucks onto what are usually quiet, rural roads that happen to be on very popular cycling routes.[Read more…]
It just so happens that many of the roads managed by Multnomah County are vital links in the cycling network: Sauvie Island Road, Larch Mountain Road, Skyline Road, Cornell, Marine Drive, Historic Columbia River Highway, and so on.
We don’t talk about them as much as urban infrastructure and commuting routes, but that makes them no less important. And now, as part of an update to their 20-Year Road Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), the County needs to hear from you how to prioritize future projects and funding. An online open house is now available and comments can be made through March 4th.
If you were bummed that NW Newberry Road is closed for repairs until April, you won’t be happy about the news I’m about to share.
A major reason Multnomah County needs to fix the landslide that’s made Newberry carfree since January 2017 is because they need to use it as the primary detour for a separate project on nearby Cornelius Pass Road. Starting July 8th, a major project on Cornelius Pass will require it to be closed for thirteen weeks between Highway 30 and Germantown Road.
The recommended detour for the estimated 10,000 daily car and truck drivers will be Newberry to Skyline to Old Cornelius Pass Road — all three of which are very popular cycling routes because of how quiet and low-stress they are.
The impact of all these additional drivers will be very significant. (Keep in mind that large big-rig trucks will be detoured to highways.) And keep in mind that not everyone will opt for Newberry. There’s very likely to be much more traffic on other popular cycling routes like NW McNamee, Logie Trail, and Rocky Point Road as well. Suffice it to say there’s already serious concerns from bike riders and drivers about the impact of this closure.
When it comes to roads, you might not think of them as often as you do the City of Portland or the State of Oregon, but Multnomah County is a big player in the region.
For those of you who like to venture beyond their central city bridges (they own and maintain the Broadway, Burnside, Morrison, Hawthorne and Sellwood bridges) the County takes care of many of the rural roads you hold dear. Think of cherished pieces of tarmac like Marine Drive, Larch Mountain, Newberry, Old Germantown, Rock Creek, Springville, the Sauvie Island loop, Gordon Creek and many others.
Now that I have your attention, you should know that the County just wrapped up a major public feedback process on how they should prioritize road investments for the next 20 years. And guess what? Improving bicycling conditions emerged as one of the top priorities.[Read more…]
Everyone’s buzzing about the opportunity to tell Multnomah County what to include in their 20-year Roads Capital Improvement Plan (RCIP). OK, maybe it’s just all the activists in my feeds and inbox. Either way, they know a good thing when they see it.
The County is a sleeper agency. Even though they manage only about 1/8th the road mileage of the City of Portland, the County’s roads happen to be some very important bike routes. And as an agency, they’re much more accessible than their larger cousins at the city, region, or state level. For those reasons alone, the RCIP is ripe for input and we should embrace the opportunity to influence it.
“I’d like to see a bridge for our future… but it will take visionary leadership from county, and I haven’t seen that yet.”
— Mark Ginsberg, advisory committee member representing The Street Trust
Multnomah County has reached a milestone in their project to make the Burnside Bridge “earthquake ready”. They’ve whittled down a list of 100 options to just two: an “enhanced seismic retrofit” or a full replacement.
The Burnside is a designated “lifeline response route” which means it has special priority when it comes to disaster and long-range resiliency planning. Owned and operated by Multnomah County, the bridge is nearly 100 years old and it shows many signs of age. A separate maintenance project is going on now.
We’ve been watching the Earthquake Ready Burnside Bridge project from afar until this point. With the options narrowed down, the County will now delve more deeply into each one of them in order to determine the future of the bridge.
Here’s where the process stands today…
I have some bad news. Unless, that is, you drive a car on NW Newberry Road.
The Morrison Bridge’s biking and walking path should reopen three weeks from Sunday, a Multnomah County said Tuesday.
The path has been closed to walking and biking for much of the summer, as have various travel lanes. It’s related to a deck replacement that’s a do-over from a 2012 replacement job that didn’t prove nearly as durable as it was supposed to.
The physically separated path along the south side of the Morrison connects Water Avenue on the Central Eastside with Naito Parkway and 2nd Avenue downtown.
On Monday, the county had tweeted that the path would reopen Oct. 16, but county spokesman Mike Pullen said in an email Tuesday that another six days would be required.
Multnomah County issued advisories for two roads in the west hills that are popular with local riders.
They’ve released a date for when NW Newberry will be fixed and re-opened. And they’ve announced a new, upcoming closure of the west side of NW Germantown.
Winter storms pummeled NW Newberry Road into submission, causing a major landslide about a half-mile up from Highway 30. The landslide caused the pavement of the northern (uphill) lane to completely split apart and fall down a hill. As a result, Multnomah County closed the road on January 18th. Concrete jersey barriers were placed across the road in both directions. While the road is technically closed, bicycle riders have continued to use it by going around the barriers to enjoy a quiet and safe, carfree road.
At a recent public meeting, County Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson said a federal grant has helped with the repair project. Yesterday, the County issued a statement saying they’ve begun working on a retaining wall needed to support the new road. Construction is set to begin in late spring 2018 and the road should reopen to all users by late summer/early fall of the same year.