New signals and turn lanes coming to U.S. 101 and Broadway will replace signals, add turn lanes, install a transit stop and make other improvements to help traffic flow smoother along the route.
The $5.2 million effort is one of eight projects selected for the 2024-2027 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program’s Enhance funding. Projects in this category are aimed at improving safety and reducing congestion on some of Oregon’s busiest roadways.
“This project is years in the making to bring funding, utility providers, ODOT and their team of professional engineers and consultants and the City of Seaside all together to improve traffic on U.S. 101,” Dale McDowell, the city’s public works director said. “This is a team effort.”
The Statewide Transportation Improvement Program is the state’s regular project funding program. Last year, the Oregon Transportation Commission allocated $65 million for the Enhance part of the 2024-2027 transportation program.
The intersection project will come in addition to improvements already underway from Avenue A to Avenue K, one among regional projects in design through the 2021-24 state improvement program.
The Avenue A to Avenue K project, approved in a 2021-23 state transportation improvement project, is planned to start construction in the fall, ODOT spokesperson Angela Beers-Seydel said, with the goal of improving safety and traffic flow.
The city assisted with design review, locating existing underground utilities, water connections for the landscape areas, and working with the Seaside Transportation Commission and ODOT to bring this project to Seaside, McDowell said.
Design was completed in 2021 and completion is expected this year.
The project will install a new center turn lane, improve bicycle and pedestrian facilities and add two rectangular rapid flashing beacon crosswalks. Plans call for new curb ramps to meet Americans With Disabilities Act standards. Traffic signs will be upgraded and drainage improved before pavement is replaced and installed with new striping. A new transit stop will be installed.
Construction is estimated at $8.1 million, she said. The overall cost estimate for the project, including planning and design, is $10.7 million.
Contractors bid on projects based on what they think it will cost to complete and we accept the lowest qualified bid. Any funds left over from a project go back into the general funds available for construction, and are allocated through things like the “Enhance” funding, which funds projects specifically designed to improve safety and reduce congestion.
“Work that people are seeing now is the gas company relocating their lines in preparation for the project,” Beers-Seydel said. “Utilities are required to move anything they are responsible for before we begin.”
The project is scheduled in four stages, starting with west side sidewalk construction between Avenue A and Avenue F, and east side widening between Avenue H and Avenue L. Additional construction and widening will continue, finishing with a pedestrian island construction between Avenue A and Avenue F.
“The exact order of how all of the components of the project will be done is determined when the contractor is on board, but we give guidance and approval,” Beers-Seydel said.
Traffic signs will be upgraded and drainage improved before pavement is replaced and installed with new striping.
“Work that people are seeing now is the gas company relocating their lines in preparation for the project,” Beers-Seydel said.
The city has worked to make sure all the underground infrastructure has been located, replaced or prepared for the work ODOT will do, City Council President Steve Wright said, with McDowell “at the forefront.”
Wright is a board member of the Northwest Oregon Commission on Transportation, which works with the Department of Transportation to determine city needs and goals.
“I see my role as trying to keep these projects moving forward and to promote any other idea that will help improve the transportation options for our area,” Wright said.
ODOT work starts in the fall and continues into 2024. When it begins, there will be both day and night work with shoulder and lane closures. Lane closures will be at night, 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., Sunday through Friday, when needed.