Grant Street Closed for Quiet Zone Upgrades as Arch Takes Shape

And just like that, the Downtown Canby Railroad Quiet Zone and Grant Street Gateway Arch — one of the city’s most significant capital projects in years — is one-third done.

Work was completed at the Elm Street railroad crossing and Highway 99E intersection last week, including the installation of new railroad flashing lighting and horns for pedestrians, a 12-inch concrete median to separate travel lanes, new sidewalks and repaving.

The contractor and Canby Public Works have since shifted their focus to Grant Street, which was fully closed to traffic Monday and is expected to remain blocked through Nov. 29, depending on weather.

Ivy Street will then be closed to install the remainder of the quiet zone improvements and resurfacing.

The footings and flagstone pillars for the arch will be constructed as part of the Grant Street closure, to help minimize the impact to motorists traveling into and out of downtown Canby.

Photo by Tyler Francke.

The prefabricated metal arch itself is currently being made and will be transported to Canby and installed at a later date.

City Administrator Scott Archer told the Canby City Council last week that he expects the arch to go up in mid to late December.

“Realistically, we’re probably looking at the whole project being done sometime after the first of the calendar year,” Archer said. “It is progressing well. We do apologize for the disruptions coming and going in and out of downtown, but that is the cost of getting this done.”

Archer said there will be a formal dedication ceremony next year after the project is complete.

Designed by Scott|Edwards Architecture, the gateway arch will feature a blend of existing aesthetics from the downtown core with a Canby sign and minimalist design inspired by the Encinitas Archway in California.

Photo by Tyler Francke.

It will include color-changing LED lighting and the ability to host signage to advertise city events and promotions.

Funded by urban renewal dollars, the project is an economic development tool that city leaders hope will help entice motorists passing by on Highway 99E to visit and patronize downtown merchants and restaurants.

Also aimed at improving livability and economic viability downtown, the quiet zone project involves installing new safety mechanisms and other upgrades to the railroad crossings at Elm, Grant and Ivy streets that would make it so train engineers are no longer required to sound their horns at each intersection.

They may still sound the horn in emergency situations or to comply with other federal rules.

Archer said last week that the quiet zone will not actually take effect until the improvements are complete at all three intersections and Union Pacific Railroad officials have signed off on the change.

The project is being completed by Lee Contractors of Battle Ground, Wash., which submitted the low bid of just under $800,000 in January 2021.

The city administrator also updated councilors on the progress of Canby’s new suite of pickleball courts, including fencing, lighting, benches and a new covered area taking shape at North Maple Street Park.

Initial construction is nearing completion, Archer said, but the court surface needs approximately 60 days of dry, reasonably warm weather to cure — which Oregon is not likely to experience in the next few months. He estimated the new amenity will be open to the public in early spring.

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