Cue your favorite Michael-Scott-from-The Office gif, guys, because “It’s happening!” That’s right: The state’s long-awaited repaving and reconstruction of a busy, 1.5-mile stretch of Highway 99E through the heart of Canby is officially underway.
Also called First Avenue, the stretch of highway is one of the most critical and, no doubt, the most well-traveled thoroughfares in the city of Canby.
The Oregon Department of Transportation, which is heading up the estimated $20.2 million facelift, says it will include new features and improvements to make driving, biking, walking, taking transit or using mobility devices safer and easier along Highway 99E in Canby.
As of this week, crews have begun construction on revamping sidewalks and adding ramps and other curb upgrades in the project area, including at Birch Street near McDonald’s and South Elm.
Transportation officials say that, over the next several weeks, short segments of the left or right lane in either direction of Highway 99E will be closed around the clock for drainage and sidewalk curb ramp work. Left turns will be restricted when work takes place at intersections.
The traffic impacts that are expected to continue this fall and through spring 2023 include periodic single-lane closures on 99E between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. weekdays, and until 10 a.m. on weekends; periodic single-lane closures on side streets between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.; and shoulder and sidewalk closures on 99E with signed, accessible detours for people walking and rolling.
The first of the 10 intersections that will ultimately see the addition of Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)-accessible curb ramps include the east side of southwest Fourth Avenue and the south side of Birch Street, and along the south side of 99E at South Locust, Knott and Juniper streets.
Starting next year, the project will fully repave the entire section of Highway 99E from Berg Parkway to Pine Street, including excavation and replacement of several inches of roadbed and pavement, for a safer, smoother ride.
ODOT will also improve traffic signals with new detectors and crosswalks at South Elm Street, South Grant Street and South Ivy Street; reconstruct several short sections of sidewalk along the corridor; and update striping along the highway for consistent lane width to encourage slower, safer speeds.
New bicycle lanes will be added to both sides of the highway between Southwest Berg Parkway and South Elm Street. Finally, the state says it will also partner with Canby Area Transit on improvements to increase safety and access for transit users as bus shelters are added in the area.
During the drier months of 2023, ODOT crews will be tackling the grinding, excavation and rebuilding of the right lanes of Highway 99E down to the road base — which officials say will yield higher quality and longer-lasting pavement.
This phase will include nighttime lane closures with flaggers directing traffic on 99E, along with periodic day and nighttime lane closures on side streets.
Sections of the right lanes will be closed in each direction for up to a month at a time. Motorists are advised to use caution and watch for people biking in the remaining lanes.
A full weekend closure of Highway 99E will occur in both directions to remove the unused railroad tracks that cross the roadway diagonally near South Pine Street and realign the tracks still in use at the highway crossing.
ODOT says it will announce these closure dates and detour information in advance. For more information about the project, including frequently asked questions, or to subscribe for updates, visit bit.ly/canbypaving.
Help us build a sustainable news organization to serve Canby for generations to come! Let us know if you can support our efforts to expand our operations and keep all of our content paywall-free. #SwimWithTheCurrent!