Nighttime closures are planned along Highway 213 in Molalla for the next several weeks, as crews work to relocate utilities ahead of construction of a planned roundabout at 213 and Toliver Road this summer.
Astound Broadband, Portland General Electric and NW Natural have worked together to coordinate the complicated project, with multiple utility relocations and subsequent lane closures scheduled to take place in the coming weeks.
Astound Broadband has already commenced the relocation of communication lines, a task estimated to require approximately five weeks for completion. PGE will then remove the existing power poles, making way for NW Natural to do their part to relocate the remaining utility infrastructure.
In order to minimize disruption to traffic flow, the nighttime lane closures will be in effect from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., with flaggers directing motorists through the temporary changes.
The current intersection, controlled solely by stop signs, has experienced a high rate of accidents, and the Oregon Department of Transportation has identified the implementation of a roundabout as a viable solution to enhance safety at this junction.
To determine the most suitable course of action, ODOT officials conducted a comprehensive Road Safety Audit in 2018, examining the intersection’s safety concerns and analyzing traffic patterns.
Collaborating closely with local agencies and engineers, they concluded that a roundabout would deliver the greatest safety benefits to the community, reducing sharp turns while accommodating various types of vehicles, including large trucks, buses, and agricultural equipment that frequently traverse the area.
Moreover, as part of the ongoing improvements, the project will also involve the installation of new lighting at the intersection. These measures aim to enhance visibility and overall safety for all road users.
The roundabout project, overseen by ODOT, has been allocated a budget of just over $10.2 million, with the city of Molalla contributing a portion of the funding.
Construction of the roundabout is scheduled to begin this summer, following the completion of the necessary preparations by Astound Broadband, PGE, and NW Natural.
Motorists are advised to remain vigilant and adhere to all traffic instructions during the lane closures and subsequent construction phases to ensure a smooth transition to the improved intersection.
For more information and updates on the roundabout project, visit ODOT’s online open house.
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