The City of Canby will celebrate the grand opening of its new Grant Street Arch and Downtown Quiet Zone at an event next week.
The grand opening event will start at 6 p.m. Thursday, November 3, at the corner of Northwest 1st and North Grant Street and will coincide with the First Thursday Night Market in downtown Canby.
The event will feature speeches by Canby officials and city staff. Light refreshments will be served after the honorary ribbon cutting.
The quiet zone, which officially took effect in late August, allowed trains crossing the Union Pacific railroad tracks at three downtown intersections — Elm, Grant and Ivy — to no longer blow their horns except in emergency situations or to comply with other federal regulations.
Funded by urban renewal dollars, the project also involved the installation of new safety mechanisms and other upgrades to the three downtown railroad crossings, including new signage and flashing lighting and horns to alert pedestrians of an approaching train.
The project also replaced the railroad crossing arms, added a 12-inch concrete curb to separate travel lanes and prevent traffic from crossing over to avoid the railroad gates, upgraded all sidewalk crossings to meet ODOT and Union Pacific clearance requirements, and repaved and restriped the roadway connections between Highway 99E and 1st Avenue.
The project has been in the works for several decades and took three years to plan and realize.
It also included the construction of the new Grant Street Arch, which was unrelated to the quiet zone safety improvements, but combining the two saved on project costs and meant Grant Street had to be closed for construction only once last year instead of twice.
The two projects, which amounted to one of the most significant the city has undertaken in years, were aimed at economic development, with city leaders hoping the Scott|Edwards Architecture-designed arch would help entice motorists passing by on Highway 99E to visit and patronize downtown merchants and restaurants, while the quiet zone is meant to improve livability and economic viability downtown.
The Grant Street Arch is uplit on both of the pillars anchoring the archway and will feature three historical plaques. The lighting displays can be changed throughout the year to highlight events and holidays — and even celebrate the achievements of Canby High School students and athletes.
The city is still accepting suggestions from the Canby community for a time capsule that is proposed to be installed in the northwest pillar of the arch. To make a recommendation of items to be included in the time capsule, fill out the short online survey here.
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!