By Sierra Lauder, Director of Events and Downtown Development, Tillamook Area Chamber of Commerce
The days are getting longer and we are seeing lots of action scattered across the entire project footprint as we prepared for some big changes.
On Main St., at the junction of Main and Third, the pedestrian crossing lights have been set and will go live as I’m drafting this email. For those of you who have been struggling to make heads or tails of how to use that intersection, the signals will be now be up and running, just in time as traffic picks up for Spring Break.
The final section of sidewalk replacement on the east side of Main is the short stretch just north of Second, in front of The Local Doghouse, Mathew Lyon’s office and Food Roots. The forming of the curb and gutter took place Thursday, and if the weather allows, the concrete pour will happen today. The weather looks very promising next week, and the ADA ramp at that corner is scheduled to be formed and poured at the beginning of the week and the last little bit of sidewalk in the last half of the week. The first week of April will be spent wrapping up any loose ends there, including getting the bioswale liners installed, all in preparation for the looming traffic shift that will push traffic to the east side, and kick off the construction on the west side of Main.
Along the bridge, curing of the large deck pour continues this week, shifting the focus to the end wall areas, and the forming of the sidewalk and overlook area on the southwest side of the bridge. This is also in preparation for transition- soon the final grading, drainage work, curb and gutter, sidewalk, and paving will take place on the west side of the road between Front and First, and traffic that is southbound coming over the bridge will be shifted to the west side of the road, creating room for work to take place along the west side of the old Shell Station property.
Folks often ask about the future of that Shell Station property, and it is still largely unknown. Once the project completes, the property will be surplussed by ODOT, and local governments will have the opportunity to purchase it. The City is aware of this trajectory, and has started a feasibility study to determine whether the parcel will be viable as a commercial property, or will be better suited for another use. We will do our best to keep you apprised of any developments in that ongoing conversation.
In response to the suggestion that more signage might encourage late merging and use of the zipper strategy, ODOT has coordinated with the City to put a sign up just south of Goodspeed Road requesting drivers use both lanes. Despite all of the various efforts to get out the word, you will likely still observe a gap in folks embracing the zipper merge. Be patient, but also be leaders- don’t be afraid to use the right lane, and merge as late as possible. As spring break traffic comes to town next week, maximizing all of the lane capacity available is the best way to keep the line from backing up out of town.
Good luck and be safe out there.
You may have noticed the LARGE heating oil tank that was discovered in the large bioswale that is being excavated on the northeast corner of First and Pacific near the Hoquarton Park. Testing is underway and things are looking optimistic for that bioswale to be completed and lined with the others along Main (both in downtown and on North Main near Tillamook Diesel) the first week of April.
For more FAQ’s about our project, including conceptual drawings that help visualize the project in its entirety, you can check out the ODOT page: www.TillamookTraffic.org