Well, I'm back with another update, where we'll be back on the east side of the river to look at the upgrades underway on Highway 219.
The long term transportation plans for North Chemeketa and northern Marion County include goals for improving connectivity and capacity along the major arterials in the region, including the construction of new arterial roadways to facilitate travel in and out of the Chemeketa city center, and to the larger national highway system.
One such project is the Chemeketa Parkway project, which, in its initial phase, will convert the existing alignment of Highway 219 from just north of the city center up to just north of the junction with Highway 221 and 52nd Avenue Northeast. Some initial work on this project was accomplished as part of the Northern Crossing Project, which converted the Highway 221/52nd Avenue NE junction from a signalized intersection to a full grade-separated interchange.
The main components of Phase 1 include:
[li]Widening Highway 219 from 2 to 4 lanes, to match the width of both the brief stretch of upgraded road built for the Northern Crossing Project, as well as the surface alignment of Highway 219 through Chemeketa's city center along Division Street North.[/li]
[li]Converting the dangerous unsignalized intersection at Highway 219 and 39th Avenue Northeast to a grade-separated interchange.[/li]
[li]Restricting access to/from Highway 219 at 33rd Avenue Northeast to RIRO (Right-In/Right-Out) and building a new connector roadway from 33rd to 39th to recover lost access.[/li]
[li]Widen part of 39th Avenue Northeast to handle the existing traffic volumes, which currently exceed the capacity of the facility.[/li]
Here is the beginning of the project, at the existing Hwy 219/39th Ave NE intersection, facing north. Some work has started already in preparation for widening.
Here are a couple representative segments of 39th Avenue just east of Highway 219 (facing north). It is currently a 2-lane facility with a landscaped median until the vicinity of Ashcroft St NE, where it becomes a 4-lane roadway. The project will widen the entire stretch of 39th to 4 lanes, with a center turn lane where appropriate.
This is the existing intersection of 33rd Ave NE and Highway 219 (facing north). It's in a similar situation to the 39th Ave intersection, and because of its close proximity to 33rd and the geometry of the roadway here, it will be converted to a RIRO configuration with a connector road to 39th to ease lost access.
The CPUD electrical substation that sits at the corner of 39th and Highway 219 is in the right-of-way needed for the widening and interchange. To this effect, it will need to be moved to the other side of the railroad. Ground clearing on the new site of the substation has begun (facing north).
The substation has been moved, and grading work has begun in preparation for the interchange (facing north).
Work beginning in preparation for the 39th Avenue overpass over Highway 219 (facing north).
The widening of Highway 219 will affect Sorenson Creek, which crosses between 33rd and 39th (facing west). A temporary culvert will have to be constructed to maintain flow while construction is underway.
Temporary overpass structure work underway (facing west). The interchange will be a hybrid diamond/trumpet, with access to and from northbound 219 being handled by the diamond half, and access to and from southbound 219 handled by the trumpet half.
The westbound half of the 39th Avenue overpass has been built to connect into the trumpet half (facing west). The existing alignment of 39th has been temporarily maintained to provide access from the other approaches, but will need to be closed for construction. You can also see the southbound onramp coming out of the trumpet half connected into Highway 219.
The northbound onramp has been connected in (facing west).
Eastbound 39th has now been closed down, and 39th cannot be directly accessed from Hwy 219 (facing west). Motorists must use 33rd and Progress Street to access 39th.
The widening on Highway 219 is underway (facing south), and the northbound onramp has been connected into the new northbound lanes on 219, meaning the only direct access from 39th is from 39th westbound to 219 southbound.
All direct access from 39th to Hwy 219 has been closed off to finish the connection to the widened highway and the overpass itself (facing west). You can see the temporary overpass structure in place.
That does it for this installment of Tarkusian Cities--I hope you enjoyed it! We'll see the completion of the 39th Avenue Interchange and widening next update, and then, it'll be onto mosaicfest and a preview of upcoming projects and long-term plans for road improvement projects in Chemeketa and vicinity.