The Canby Pioneer Industrial Park continues to develop and add more users — the most recent being Caruso Produce and Stanton Furniture, both expected to come online within the next couple years. Now, traffic is becoming a frequent and growing concern for many residents.
People are understandably worried about the strain increased traffic — and in particular, large truck traffic — will have on Highway 99E and other connector streets that are already showing wear and tear with the current load.
As hard as some skeptics might find it to believe, city leaders are aware of the problem, and have been quietly working on a solution: a new outlet road that would allow the vast majority of trucks traveling to and from the industrial park to bypass Highway 99E through Canby altogether.
The proposed road would extend South Walnut further north of the existing city limits, ultimately connecting back up with Highway 99E near the site of the Route 99 Roadhouse (formerly known as the Double Aught Ranch).
The city’s economic development director, Jamie Stickel, recently updated the mayor and city council on the project, saying that while the project has been discussed for over a decade, the talks have lately become “much more serious.”
The original alignment — and the one included in the city’s 2010 Transportation System Plan — called for a road that would connect Walnut with Otto Road, an existing but little-used street that is currently a dead-end.
But this alignment was ultimately rejected by the city because it was deemed to be much more expensive and impactful to the property owners in that area. Last June, the city took the first real step in making the new access road a reality by buying a property just north of the industrial park at the junction of Walnut Road and SE First Avenue.
The 3.7 acre parcel was purchased for $595,000 in urban renewal funds. Several of the property owners spoke in favor of the new alignment at the June meeting, including Ethan Manuel.
“We are very excited about this, honestly, as a group of Canby citizens,” he said. “As you heard, the ability to build out the industrial park is contingent on having some sort of a plan for another 99E connection.”
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