Now that NOAA’s grand opening and operational launch at South Beach is less than a year away, the City of Newport is getting quite serious about making sure traffic in and out of the area is improved.
Gone will be the patchwork of old streets and byways coming together at odd and puzzling angles. Gone will be the confusion about looking at a bridge you want to drive on but can’t get to. And no longer will people wonder where the Oregon Coast Aquarium is and where to park.
The City of Newport is formulating plans to improve the streets around the Marine Science Center, NOAA Headquarters and around Rogue Brewery. This includes the re-alignment of the intersections at Pacific Way, Ferry Slip Road, and 25th Street. A large roundabout will be built at a spot common to the entrances of the marina, Hatfield Marine Science Center, and the NOAA facility. A detached, separate multi-use bicycle and pedestrian path will also be constructed that will provide direct access to the south end of the bridge as well as under the bridge to Jetty Road. It is a very ambitious plan to be paid for out of a number of funds, but largely through Newport Urban Renewal and a very large state transportation grant.
To see how the community feels about all this and what improvements should be considered is the topic of public discussion during two open houses Wednesday, August 18th, and Thursday, September 9th. Both run 6:30-8pm at the Community Room at the Newport Campus of Oregon Coast Community College. The first open house, August 18th, will be devoted to receiving public opinion on the designs of the improvements. The second open house on September 9th will focus on whether the city listened well enough to those suggestions and whether the city should consider yet additional design ideas to improve the projects. Once all this is complete, the city will formulate a final design and select a contractor to do the work. That work should begin sometime in November or December.
For more information, call the Newport Community Development Department at 541-574-0626, or via e-mail at D.Tokos@NewportOregon.gov.