By Justin Aufdermauer
The number one question that Sierra and I get about the Hwy 101/6 construction project is when will it be finished? I know that at this point it feels like it’s been a part of our daily lives for a lifetime, but the simple answer is that the project will be completed in Fall of 2018. That has been the projected completion date since the beginning and hasn’t changed.
That means we have a little over a year to patiently maneuver around construction crews and carefully pay attention to traffic flow changes so that we all stay safe and get through the next 16-18 months.
First up is you’ve probably noticed that north- and south-bound traffic are now both traveling over the new Hoquarton Slough bridge. The old bridge will be demolished so that the west half of the bridge can be constructed. Duringthe first few months of this phase, the new bridge will be closed to all pedestrian traffic. If you regularly walk across the bridge to get to work or go shopping, you will need to be aware that for your safety you cannot cross the bridge on foot.
Fortunately, ODOT has partnered with the Tillamook County Transit District to provide a few shuttle for pedestrians who need to get across. Northbound pedestrians can catch the shuttle at the Post Office, and southbound travelers can hop on just north of Rosenberg Builders Supply. The shuttle will be available from approximately 7:30 a.m. until approximately 6:30 p.m.
If you need a ride earlier or later than that, you can call 503-457-7009 to be picked up at one of the locations listed. This service will remain in effect until the ADA accessible connection is completed on the east side of the new Hoquarton Slough bridge, scheduled for mid-October.
Along with the bridge completion project, Main Avenue will also be getting a facelift. Wider lanes and brand new sidewalks between First and Fourth are coming to match the work that was done on Pacific.
Work will begin on the east side of the street, replacing the sidewalks one block at a time starting at Second Street, before jumping across the street to the west side. Of course during this time period there will be very limited parking on Main Avenue between First and Fourth Streets, and Third Street might potentially be reduced to one lane again between Main and Pacific.
But before you start groaning, I want to bring to your attention a few reasons why we believe this next section will be much smoother than Pacific:
- There is significantly more parking available off of Main than there is off of Pacific. If you own a business on Main, or frequent one, you shouldn’t have a difficult time finding a place to park nearby.
- We are also expecting significantly less rain this winter, according to the Farmer’s Almanac, and with any construction project that is impacted by weather this prediction is good news.
- The sidewalk improvements will begin between Second and Third Streets because of the vaults, and crews want to get those finished before we are in the depths of winter.
- Many of the things that held up the Pacific side have already been completed and don’t have to be done again. All of the engineering tasks have been checked off and the work along Main should wrap up prior to next summer.
We are also getting new sidewalks on the southern side of First Street, and will see the completion of the cross-town connection path at Goodspeed Park and Hoquarton Slough that will be built over the highway.
As always, we appreciate your patience and our business community appreciates your patronage as we head into another fall and winter impacted by construction.
If you would like to stay up-to-date on all the highway project news as it happens, sign up for our weekly e-newsletter at http://tillamookchamber.org/highwayproject.