The Waldport City Council told ODOT today that although they would like to partner with ODOT to widen Highway 101 just south of town up to Waziata, Waldport can’t afford it. Not the way ODOT’s contract is configured.
It wasn’t that the town’s financial contribution to the project was too high, it was that ODOT’s contract made Waldport responsible for any cost over-runs which are notoriously common with these kinds of projects. And so the council, exercising an abundance of caution, declined the liability and sent ODOT’s proposal back for further review.
So it’s now in ODOT’s corner.
Waldport has, for a long time, wanted to see Highway 101 widened to give pedestrians and bicyclists more of a safety margin from traffic while walking or riding up or down the hill.
But for the time being, Waldport councilors have balked because of possible unforeseen cost overruns that are typical with high dollar roadway improvements.
So we’ll see how ODOT receives the news.