Preparation for construction, including erosion control and signage at the intersection of Northeast Sandy Boulevard and 105th Avenue, will have begun in late May, according to Oregon Department of Transportation’s Community Affairs Coordinator Brandy Steffen.
ODOT is in charge of this project, rather than Portland Bureau of Transportation, because Northeast Sandy Boulevard is a US 30 bypass route outside the city’s jurisdiction. The purpose of the project is to improve a crash-prone intersection from a safety standpoint. As Steffen pointed out via email, “ODOT selects safety improvement projects based on crash history and the severity of crashes on ODOT right-of-way. Crash data from 2005–2014 indicates that there were 65 crashes at NE Sandy and 105th. The most common crash types were turning and rear-end crashes. Four pedestrian/bike crashes were also recorded at this intersection.” The budget for the project is $504,000, and funding is from state and federal coffers.
The median and its cluster of trees on the east side of Northeast 105th Avenue at Sandy Boulevard is out, and two new left turn lanes are in: one for westbound Sandy Boulevard traffic onto southbound 105th Avenue and one for northbound 105th Avenue traffic onto westbound Sandy Boulevard. The work is expected to last from early June to mid-August, and there will be some vehicle, bicycle and pedestrian delay on both of the intersecting streets.
No work will be done during rush hour, according to Steffen, but instead will be done between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. during the day and 8 p.m. and 7 a.m. at night. Required lane closures on either side of the existing median and future left-turn lane will be limited to 20-minute intervals between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.
Night work is expected to ameliorate the traffic impact somewhat, although commuters naturally should expect some delays, day and night, through late spring and the first half of the summer.
Night crews will do the needed relatively quieter work, like tree and median removal and traffic signal upgrades requiring a lane closure on either side of the present median and future left-turn lane. A 24/7-manned hotline will be available to respond to any citizen complaints of excess noise.
The traffic signals will be upgraded, according to Steffen, to bigger, brighter and easier-to-see lights. The crosswalks for the Northeast Sandy Boulevard crossings on either side of 105th Avenue will be upgraded for ADA compliance with curb ramps, a countdown signal will be added for all pedestrians crossing 105th Avenue and a countdown signal and a longer walk cycle will be added for all pedestrians who push the demand pushbutton to cross Sandy Boulevard. During this particular construction phase, which may have a potentially negative impact on pedestrians, pedestrians will be escorted and detoured one at a time around any barriers to access.
Any impacts on the Number 21 bus line on the southside bus stop at Northeast Sandy Boulevard will be minimized by close cooperation between ODOT and TriMet, according to Steffen.
The trees and median will be removed early in the construction, and the traffic signals will be upgraded toward the end of construction.
For more information, contact Steffen at email@example.com or 503-731-8230.