Huge Crane to Lift New Bike-Ped Bridge Into Place

What- A 100-foot crane will hoist a prefabricated 90-foot bridge deck onto the support structure for a new bicycle-pedestrian bridge over Amazon Creek. Images from a prior lift are attached for reference.

Background- LTD is building two new bicycle-pedestrian bridges this year as part of the West Eugene EmX project. The bridges, plus a third bridge to be built next year by the City of Eugene, are funded through a $2.9 million ConnectOregon V grant. This investment will allow residents who live south of Amazon Creek to easily connect to West 11thAvenue businesses and the West Eugene EmX service that will launch next fall. The bridges also enhance Fern Ridge Path and the rest of the path system for recreational walking and bicycling.

When– Thursday, October 27, 2016. Be in position by 12:00 p.m. (Noon). The crane lift is expected to occur between 12:15 p.m. and 12:30 p.m.

Where- Just West of Acorn Park on the Fern Ridge Path. If driving you may park along the street on Buck Street or West 13th Avenue.

ltd-bikebridge-map

Knickerbocker Bridge Closure

The City of Eugene posted the following road construction advisory:

South Bank Path (Knickerbocker Bridge to Walnut Street): The South Bank Path is closed for construction between Walnut Street and Knickerbocker Bridge until mid-November. Path users should travel on the North Bank Path and the Autzen Bridge. The old path is being replaced with new concrete and will be slightly realigned. The Knickerbocker Bridge will receive new railing.

South Willamette bike lane striping delayed until June

The re-striping of south Willamette Street, which will add bike lanes from 24th to 29th avenues, has been delayed for a few weeks.

Crews have marked out the new configuration of the street, and the actual re-striping was expected in the next week or so.

Spray-painted white markings show where the new pavement striping will go.

Spray-painted white markings show where the new pavement striping will go.

But the contractor hired to do the striping had a conflict and is not available for few weeks, City of Eugene Transportation Planning Engineer Chris Henry told a meeting Thursday of the Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee. The striping should be completed by mid-June, Henry said.

Fox Hollow Road and Dillard Road Update

I have been in contact with the City of Eugene staff concerning two very heavily used cycling routes, Fox Hollow Road and Dillard Road.  The bad news is we’re going to have to wait for the Fox Hollow fix until 2017 or later. The good news is, most of Dillard will be fixed this Summer. Keep in mind that the city staff is doing the best they can under the current funding program. What is needed is either a bond measure or gas tax to cover the 50 miles of unimproved streets in the city. Please contact your city councilor to start the ball rolling. And do it today!

The following is from Eric Johnson, Surface Operations Manager, Public Works Maintenance Division:

“Fox Hollow Road, south of Donald Street is classified as an unimproved street. Unimproved streets are generally defined as those streets not built to City street standards. More specifically they lack an engineered road base and paving structure, curb and gutters, and sidewalks. There are approximately 50 miles of unimproved streets with in the City limits. Unimproved streets received limited maintenance such as potholes repairs that are 3” or greater in depth, periodic street sweeping, and in the case of Fox Hollow snow and ice control as needed.

Unlike improved streets, local gas tax and Bond Measure funding are not used to fund resurfacing unimproved streets. Public Works does have a program that addresses unimproved street surface treatments. The Enhanced Street Repair Program currently receives $200,000 annually from the road operating fund to provide asphalt maintenance overlays on our 50 miles of unimproved streets. Currently there is an estimated three million dollar backlog of projects similar to Fox Hollow Road.

Fox Hollow Road between Donald Street and Cline Road (City limits) has been identified as a potential project through this program. We are hopeful that in the next few years continued program funding will enable Public Works to overlay this section of Fox Hollow Road. Paving is limited to the existing road surface and does not include adding bike lanes. During the paving process we look for opportunities to widen the road shoulder to provide pedestrians and bicyclists safer passage. In the meantime we will continue to provide surface maintenance as described above. I have asked our surface maintenance team to inspect Fox Hollow Road and make appropriate repairs as needed.

More than likely it will be no sooner than the 2017 construction season before Fox Hollow Road from Donald Street south to the City limits will be paved. I have committed our program resources to another south Eugene project this summer, Dillard Road from 43rd Ave. to near the City limits. This will be the largest projects in terms of square footage and funds we’ve taken on through this program. I am currently working with our contractor on an estimate and will have a better sense of whether will be available for this construction season. Fox Hollow is also a large project and more than likely we won’t have sufficient funds to add it to this year’s project list. I also have scheduled our contractor to provide me with an estimate for Fox Hollow so we have a better idea of costs.”

Territorial Highway Update

Background

The Territorial Highway Corridor Plan will address safety for all users of a particularly dangerous section of Territorial Highway. The Plan will focus on a 5.7-mile long section of the Highway that extends south from Gillespie Corners to Cottage Grove-Lorane Road. This section is narrow and in poor condition. It is used by trucks, cars, bicyclists, and pedestrians. This is a key transportation link to rural communities and forest, farming, and winery businesses. The Plan will document the process of developing and selecting a preferred design alternative supported by the public. The Plan will also include preliminary designs for the preferred design alternative.

Project Update

Lane County and ODOT continue to partner in the planning and design process for improving Territorial Highway. They have been collecting information about cultural resources, wetlands, and geology — investigating what it would take to implement the preferred design alternative that was supported through the public process. There are design solutions for avoiding the cultural resource sites and for mitigating wetland impacts; however, the geological findings at Stony Point prompted further analysis of the preferred design alternative.

The results of the geotechnical readings indicate movement at the active slide at Stony Point. The stabilization needed to construct the preferred design alternative could be cost-prohibitive and would have a significant footprint. They have identified a range of possible alternative solutions, such as structural anchors and terracing. It may be necessary to consider alignment adjustments for cuts into the hillside. Any alignment changes would need to be discussed with affected property owners and would require additional geotechnical investigation.

Current funding will allow completion of the corridor plan and preliminary design work, but there is no funding identified to complete the design or to construct the improvements. They will seek funding to complete the design work through the upcoming State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP). Obtaining funding to complete the design will make the project “shovel ready” which better positions the project for construction funding. Screen Shot 2016-03-10 at 12.24.40 PM

Current Status 

The Territorial Highway project from Gillespie Corners to the Town of Lorane is awaiting approximately $1million in funding from ODOT to complete the design phase. This is for further design work due to hillside slippage. The county expects to know by this Summer whether or not the funds will be available.

 

 

Construction underway for Willamette Street ‘road diet’

If you haven’t noticed, construction has begun on south Willamette Street, the first steps toward the test of a “road diet” on the stretch from 24th to 29th streets.

construction

Preliminary work is underway on south Willamette Street, leading up to the re-striping.

The street will be reconfigured from four auto lanes to three auto lanes with bike lanes.

The actual re-striping of the road probably won’t happen until late March or early April, said Chris Henry, Transportation Planning Engineer for the city. Other work needs to happen first, he said, including widening the road at 24th and installing a traffic light at the driveway into Woodfield Station, the shopping area anchored by Market of Choice.

The widening at 24th is now underway. That will allow for the continuation of the southbound bike lane, which now ends at 23rd. The widening will also make room for a left-turn pocket for cars headed south on Willamette and wanting to turn left on 24th.

While the “test” road diet does not include repaving the street (that will happen in a few years), the city is also reparing some of the worst cracks and drainage problems that would have been in the new bike lanes.

share_the_road

Driveway lips have been ground smoother.

Some of that work is already done. Workers have also ground a number of driveway lips, to make it easier to turn a bike off the road into a business driveway.

The stretch of Willamette in question sees about 14000 automobile trips per day. That’s about 2,000 less than the older figure that was used when the street was initially studied and the road diet was proposed.

Because of vocal oppostion to the idea of a road diet from some businesses on Willamette, the City Council voted in 2014 to test the idea for a year. The council will take up the issue again in summer 2017 after reviewing how the street functioned under the test, and also considering results from an economic impact study of area businesses that is being conducted by the Community Service Center at the University of Oregon.

All of that will lead to a decision on how to re-stripe the street when it is fully repaved in 2018.

City may extend Lincoln Street bike lane south to 13th

The city is looking to fill a bike-lane gap on Lincoln Street when the road is repaved this summer.

The street now has a bike lane north of 11th, and is a commonly used northbound bike route into downtown and the Whitaker. But the stretch from 13th to 11th avenues has no bicycle facilities at all, though many people on bikes access that stretch of Lincoln from 13th, the 12th Avenue bicycle boulevard, or the neighborhood along Lincoln south of 13th.

To add a bike lane, city staff would need to remove on-street parking on the east side of those two blocks.

cyclist-on-lincoln

Looking north on Lincoln, approaching the light at 11th Avenue.

City Transportation Planning staff has received a couple of letters from organizations on the street, encouraging the installation of a bike lane, one of them noting, “I talked to some of our neighbors in adjoining buildings, and write to say many of us strongly support a bike lane. … I’ve worked in our office … for nearly 16 years. … In my experience, the street parking spaces are very rarely all occupied. … By contrast, I do think that for safety purposes, Lincoln should have a dedicated bike lane on its east side. … Without a dedicated bike lane, the northbound bicyclists lack a truly safe, clear space to reach the dedicated bike lane on the north side of 11th.”

Removal of on-street parking requires an “administrative order” from the city traffic engineer. Staff must collect data about the use of parking spaces in the area before removal, and discuss the removal with neighbors. This work is underway.

Over the past few years, Eugene has removed on-street parking to improve bicycle facilities on several streets, including portions of 24th, 18th and Fifth avenues.

The stretch of Lincoln from Fifth to 13th avenues is scheduled to be repaved in summer 2016 as part of Eugene’s five-year Pavement Bond Measure. Repaving projects often present opportunities to add bike lanes or other improvements at very little additional cost, since the street will be re-striped anyway.

Long-term city transportation plans envision a two-way separated “cycletrack” on Lincoln from Fifth to 13th.

Controlled Ecological Burn Closes Portion of Fern Ridge Bike Path Today

The Bureau of Land Management is planning a controlled ecological burn on a section of Willamette Daisy Meadow today immediately adjacent to the Fern Ridge Bike Path. As a result, the path will need to close temporarily during operations.  The path will be closed at the south end at the intersection of the bike path with Terry St. and at the north end where the path crosses the railroad tracks. See the attached map for more details.  The path will be closed for approximately two to three hours starting around noon.

Throughout the Willamette Valley ecological burns are used as a restoration tool to protect valuable biological diversity in prairie and savanna ecosystems. This site has one of the largest populations of Willamette Valley daisy, an endangered species, left in the world. Removal of standing dead vegetation also benefits the community by decreasing the chances of uncontrolled wildfire at the wildland-urban interface.

Ecological burns are managed by experienced and highly trained fire crews.

CONTACTS:
Burn related information contact Bureau of Land Management Public Affairs Officer Jennifer Velez at 541-232-9241

Path closure information contact Natural Resources Supervisor Trevor Taylor at 541-912-5755

New Viaduct To Open Friday

The Oregon Department of Transportation will open a new multi-use viaduct path along the Willamette River this Friday. This new viaduct is part of the large I-5 Whilamut bridge project and is one of several multi-use path improvements completed as part of that project.

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The path starts east of the Knickerbocker Bridge and runs along the south side of the Willamette River until it joins a new path that the city of Springfield is building along Franklin Boulevard. The City of Springfield is expected to install a stutter flash crossing of Franklin Boulevard near that connection as well. Though some advocates recommended keeping the existing South Bank Path that crosses under Franklin Boulevard to allow for easier connection for east bound cyclists it will be closed on June 30 so that restoration work can be completed in that area.

ODOT says that the new path “eliminates dangerous curves, improves commuter safety for cyclists, and offers beautiful views of the river and the Whilamut Passage Bridge.”  A new path along the south side of the Willamette River is in the Glenwood master plan and this viaduct will be an important connection once that path is complete and as Springfield continues it’s Glenwood revitalization work.

 

Bike Lanes On Willamette

Fresh new bike lanes have just been painted on South Willamette Street!!

No, it’s not the much talked about section from 24th to 32nd but the one from 18th to 23rd. The northbound cyclists on Willamette will pick up the bike lane at 23rd then be diverted (with the rest of the traffic) onto 2oth before heading North again on Oak…eventually that zig-zag will also have bike lanes, including the Oak one which will take you to the 18th Ave bike lanes! The city decided to wait to do the section from 23rd to 24th even though it was being repaved because they wanted to see where the 24th-32nd projected went so they knew where to line up the lanes.

These new bike lanes are a major improvement to the corridor as they now connect to the bike lanes on Willamette from 13th avenue.  It will surely increase bike traffic on Willamette since this section was a barrier before. Now that it is open more people will want to ride to their destinations on the South Willamette section from 24th onward.

Here’s hoping this major improvement is a step towards making Willamette A Place for Everyone!

Here are a few photos Larry Price sent in. Click one to see a little slideshow.