After a nearly 4-month hiatus, Tarkusian Cities is back in the thick of construction season. I have a few capital improvement projects all around Chemeketa to showcase, which, for the first time in awhile, will entail visiting the south side of town. I've replied to everyone who commented on the previous update on the end of that update's comments section--thank you all for the support!
First off, a current region map, to reacquaint yourself with Chemeketa. (Trying out a new color scheme here, too.)
Current region map: [link]
Highway 36/Sorenson Street Project
ORDOT has identified that the segment of Highway 36 between downtown Chemeketa and the interchange with Highway 15 as a viable candidate for capital improvements. Among these improvements, one particular project was shortlisted for construction, the interchange with Sorenson Street.
Sorenson Street is a north-south arterial maintained by the City of Chemeketa, which provides access to several major industrial areas, and has long been a source of congestion. While city public works projects have noticeably improved the road well to the north of the project area, the portions of Sorenson Street in the vicinity of the existing interchange with Highway 36 is a 2-lane roadway with a 30mph speed limit, and has not seen much improvement since it was a semi-rural road on the outskirts of town.
As a result, it suffers significant congestion, and operates at LOS D at most hours, dropping to LOS F at the interchange and immediately south during peak hours.
As part of the project, ORDOT will be modernizing and re-aligning Sorenson Street, widening the roadway to include 4 travel lanes, from just south of the interchange, to 5th Avenue NE. The City of Chemeketa will be widening and re-aligning Sorenson between 5th and 16th Avenues NE in coordination with the interchange redesign.
The illustration below gives a rough outline of the improvements planned for this project.
This is where the ramps to and from Highway 36 eastbound intersect Sorenson Street (facing north).
Here is a full overview of the interchange area, with earth moving commencing on the new alignment of Sorenson Street (facing north).
This is an overview of the area surrounding the intersection of Sorenson with 5th Ave NE (facing north). As evidenced by the outlines of preliminary preparations for construction, a number of structures will need to be demolished to make way for the new roadway.
This is at the north end of the city's improvement project, at the intersection of Sorenson with 16th Ave NE (facing north). The segment north of 16th has already been widened to 4 lanes, and this project will widen the segment to the south to match.
Another look, a little farther south, with some preliminary construction preparations underway (facing north). Sorenson will be realigned slightly toward the west, with more slight curvature.
Demolition of structures near the interchange has commenced (facing north):
Just north of 5th Ave (facing north):
Farther north, near the existing curve (facing north):
This small pocket of residential will not be directly connected into the new alignment Sorenson Street, and will instead be accessed by a segment of the old alignment, which will be retained for local access purposes (facing north).
Closer to 16th Ave (facing north)
A portion of the new alignment has been constructed, and 9th Place NE has been extended to it (facing north). This extension will provide access to the portion of the old alignment that will be retained for local access, and will minimize disruption during construction staging.
The collector roadway just to the north (Meander Drive NE) will also be realigned, with its intersection with Sorenson being moved roughly 300 feet north (facing north).
This is back at the new 5th and Sorenson intersection (facing north). You can see the old intersection just to the right.
That does it for this installment of Tarkusian Cities. Next update, we'll be delving more into the reconstruction of the interchange itself. Hope you enjoyed it!