At long last Lincoln City and ODOT have agreed to a way forward, aimed at lessening traffic back-ups along Highway 101 from 32nd down to 23rd streets in the Nelscott area. That narrow section of two-lane road has been a migraine headache for travelers and locals alike, especially during the touristy summer months.
The city council and ODOT have mutually agreed to work together to create a slightly wider 101 which includes not only bicycle lanes and sidewalks, but also left turn lanes that will help alleviate the massive traffic jams caused while motorists try to turn off the highway onto side streets. The agreement will also settle a long running debate between ODOT and the city over how wide the highway should be. ODOT wanted four lanes with turn lanes; the city wanted something far less so local businesses that line the highway wouldn’t be forced out to accommodate considerably more pavement.
So, again, the agreed project will be just one lane each way with turn lanes. But construction is not expected to begin anytime soon due to requirements for a design and planning process that requires much public input. However, officials say once that year long process is complete, construction can begin, with completion hopefully by late 2013 or early 2014. To minimize traffic impacts ODOT says they will construct the new highway in stages with detours created for each segment of the project.