Trying to stay ahead of the arrival next Spring of many logging trucks a day coming down SE Moore Road turning onto the Bay Road to the International Terminal, a citizens task force has prioritized ways to soften the impact on the area.
With all those logging trucks coming into Newport from the east, the task force said ODOT should move “lower speed limit ahead” warning signs farther east than where they are now, to given inbound traffic more time to slow down. The task force also wants ODOT to double the length of the Highway 20 @ SE Moore Road left turn lane. More trucks means greater need for storing more vehicles waiting to turn left. And the task force would like ODOT to do a speed study to ascertain whether speed limits coming into Newport ought to be lower.
The task force also supports the redesign of the intersection of SE Moore and Bay Boulevard which removes a lot of ground in front of the bank on the corner to make for better traffic flow up and down SE Moore. There is also a designated right turn lane southbound on SE Moore onto Bay Boulevard. The task force also wants bright LED lights accompanying stop and warning signs to alert motorists that the southbound SE Moore and northbound SE Moore traffic doesn’t stop. The task force also wants a left turn lane designated for southbound SE Moore into the bank. They also want parking removed on SE Moore Monday through Friday as well as on Bay Boulevard west of SE Moore for a ways so it doesn’t clutter up southbound SE Moore turns for truckers turning west on Bay. The task force would also like to have rumble strips on southbound SE Moore near the intersection with Bay. And they want log export operator Teevin Brothers to work closely with log truck drivers to ensure they know how to properly navigate the SE Moore @ Bay Boulevard intersection.
The task force will also be asking the county public works director to re-examine speeds on the Bay Road from about Vista to the east and to clear brush from along public rights of way in the area to enhance visibility.
These and perhaps some additional points will be presented to the Port of Newport Commission as well as the Newport City Council within a few weeks. Funding for the SE Moore @ Bay Boulevard intersection modification has yet to be worked out, but task force members agreed it will likely involve an investment by Newport, the Port of Newport and log exporter Teevin Brothers.
Log export operations are expected to commence in a May-June timeframe. Neighbors and city officials say they hope that a long term alternate route to the International Terminal can eventually be worked out. But that will likely take some breakthroughs on selecting a new route and funding to build it.