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Chemeketa: Ashcroft/5Th Ave Widening

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Archive update--this was originally posted on November 29, 2009 as Update 59 in the SC4D edition of Tarkusian Cities. It has been included for the sake of completion, in a slightly edited form to fit the continuity of the ST edition.

Hi everyone-

Well, I'm back with another installment of Tarkusian Cities . . .

We'll be back in the same region/city I introduced in Update 58, which now sports a proper name: Chemeketa (pronounced cha-mech-it-ta).

Chemeketa was actually the original name of Salem, Oregon when it was initially founded in the early 1840s, taken from the Calapooya word meaning "meeting place". In RL, the name was retained for with Chemeketa Street in downtown Salem, as well as Chemeketa Community College in north Salem.

Just to show a brief overview of how the RL Salem is laid out:


And for a comparison, the map of Chemeketa from the previous update again:


(For a little more context, check here.)

Downtown Chemeketa is actually located in about the same spot as Downtown Salem, near a bend in the Willamette River, albeit it has a few notable changes. Namely, there's a freeway running through it. On either side of Downtown Salem, OR-22 has a limited access expressway section, but these two segments are disrupted by a somewhat circuitous set of surface streets. Highway 36 is pretty much the Chemeketa-equivalent of OR-22, but runs uninterrupted as an elevated freeway through town. The western portion also runs on the south side of the river rather than the north.

I'll have much more to say on the similarities/differences between Chemeketa and Salem in future updates, as well as the "alternate universe Oregon" in which Chemeketa resides.

Now that I've gone off on a historical tangent, I'll move onto another matter . . . a construction project, which you saw a hint of last update.

chemeketapublicworkslog.pngAshcroft Street NE and 5th Avenue NE Widening

This project will widen Ashcroft Street NE and 5th Avenue NE, just east of downtown Chemeketa. Ashcroft is a major north-south arterial that functions as a "boundary" of sorts for the downtown area, while 5th Avenue is a major east-west arterial connecting the industrial areas east of Chemeketa to downtown.

The new roadways will be built to 4 travel lanes, 2 in each direction. Ashcroft will be widened between 3rd Avenue NE and 16th Avenue NE, while 5th Avenue will be widened between Ashcroft to just east of McCabe Street NE.

Here is the intersection of 5th and Ashcroft as construction begins. (facing north)


Parts of the new widened roadway being built along Ashcroft . . . as you can see, it's a bit of a mess. (facing north)



A different angle--facing west. This is near 13th and Ashcroft.


This is near the intersection of 16th and Ashcroft (facing north). As you can see, Circuit City is in the way. Fortunately, Circuit City also happens to be out of business, so the city will be able to condemn the land to make way for the widened roadway without any problems.



Part of the widening has been completed. (facing north)


A different angle. (facing west)


Here's at 5th and Ashcroft again. (facing north) The Ashcroft widening has been complete, and work has begun on widening 5th.


Farther north on Ashcroft, taking a look at the improved roadway (facing west).


Here's the intersection of 16th and Ashcroft after the widening (facing north).


The improved roadway on Ashcroft near 12th and 13th (facing north).


Another angle (facing east).


Here's how work is progressing on the 5th Avenue widening (facing north). This is between Ashcroft and McCabe.


Improvements are underway at 5th and McCabe (facing north). McCabe is next on the list for widening, to provide better access between Highway 36 and this part of town.


Widening has been completed on 5th (facing north).


And that does it for this update--hope you enjoyed this one!


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