It appears that there will eventually be less congestion along the Nelscott portion of Highway 101 in Lincoln City. After years of haggling back and forth between Lincoln City and the Oregon Department of Transportation, a deal has been struck to scrap a very expensive widening of the highway from near Taft High School to the Shell Station near Tanger Mall. This narrow stretch of highway, from 23rd to 32nd, has been a congestion headache for tourists and locals for years. ODOT has wanted to widen it to four lanes with a center turn lane, but the city opposed such an ambitious project because it would wipe out a lot of businesses on both sides of the highway.
But this week deadlock turned to compromise.
After meeting with top level ODOT officials, Mayor Dick Anderson and city staff announced that ODOT is willing to widen the highway just enough to put in a center turn lane, bike lanes, sidewalks, and the possible addition of a traffic signal at 32nd Street.
The Lincoln City City Council Monday night is expected to sign a memorandum of understanding with ODOT that will move the vision forward. But because it’s a total redesign of that stretch of 101, ODOT and the city will have to start from scratch. It means a year long process to assess design options along with city and ODOT sponsored public meetings. In short, the project is at least two to three years away from being built. But as Mayor Anderson told NewsLincolnCounty.com, “At least we know where we’re headed.”