This month, the Oregon Department of Transportation expects to issue a request for proposal to hire a consultant for its 82nd Avenue of Roses Implementation plan. Part of ODOT’s plan involves spending about $15 million to improve 7.3 miles of 82nd Avenue, including sidewalk repairs, curb additions and traffic signal upgrades at dangerous intersections along the street dubbed a crash corridor. The plan also considers possibly transferring jurisdiction of the street, or sections of it, from the state to the City of Portland.

“To choose a consultant is very competitive,” said Mike Mason, ODOT’s project manager for the plan. “There’s lots of people who’ll be interested in doing the consulting work. We’ll have a team here at ODOT and probably include somebody from the city as well to review the proposals and that takes a while. Then we sit down with the consultant and negotiate what the contract’s going to include.”

Altogether, it will take two to three months before the consultant is on board, Mason said.

Once hired, the consultant will help the ODOT team conduct outreach and select members of a citizen advisory group composed of people living or working along the corridor, as well as a steering committee of elected officials and city, state and regional representatives. Those two committees will not be formed until around March or April, Mason said.

“Sometimes people are kind of obvious for these committees because they’ve been involved in issues on 82nd Avenue already, so some of the people who show up at all the meetings that have taken place and shown [sic] a keen interest in it would be a natural fit,” Mason said. “We also like to get people who may be new to the process and bring an interesting perspective that we haven’t gotten before.”

After ODOT held a Town Hall meeting in November about the plan, many business owners and residents who live on or just off the street expressed interest in being on the agency’s stakeholders list. During and after that meeting, those people offered more feedback on improving sidewalks and creating better crossings across 82nd Avenue, as well as how to improve the looks of the corridor. “It was a really good meeting,” says Mason. “There were a lot of people there and a lot of passion about 82nd and making improvements. A lot was focused on transportation.”