The Toledo City Council got a preview of what improvements the town might look forward to, based on a soon-to-be adopted city transportation plan. The plan includes major road, sidewalk, bike path and pedestrian improvements that will run into the many millions of dollars spread out over a good many years. City officials say most of that money will have to come from grants and other outside sources, including the Oregon Department of Transportation, aka ODOT. None of the projects are legally mandated.
Topping the list of the proposed plan is signalizing Toledo’s western portal on Highway 20. The plan calls for either a single signal light at 229 (with a slightly re-aligned 229 north of 20 ($7.14 Million), or two signal lights, one at Highway 20 and Business 20 as well as at Highways 20 and 229 ($8.1 Million). A consultant told the city council that the high prices involve major upgrades and widening of Highway 20 through the portal area – wider and more lanes for traffic storage and safer turning motions. Funding for either of these options will come from ODOT funds or state bonding. ODOT will be the agency initiating the project and launching the construction. The transportation plan considers either signal light project to be long term.
The next most costly Toledo road improvement will be the realignment of Sturdevant Road for Siletz Site Freight Access, weighing in at just under $600,000. It’s a long term project likely to be funded with local street and ODOT funds, or a local improvement district, systems development charges or bonding. The county, the tribe and Toledo are expected to partner on the project.
Next down the ladder of cost is the south turn onto A Street from Business 20. It’s a new right turn pocket lane that stops backup on eastbound Business 20. It’s sticker price is just shy of a half million dollars and would be funded by city street fund, local improvement district or an ODOT grant. It’s a medium term project.
Weighing in at just under $300,000 is the Burgess Road at Business 20 intersection that will be realigned to make a perfect “T” intersection. Right now Burgess comes into Business 20 at an angle making it a bit dicey for motorists on Burgess turning onto 20, especially for firefighters whose fire hall is just up Burgess. It’s a medium term project funded by street funds, a local improvement district or ODOT.
Next rung down on the cost ladder is the “A” Street Railroad Crossing coming in at $176,000. It’s a short term project expected to be funded through the street fund, Bike/Ped Fund, local improvement district and/or with funds from PNW Railroad.
The next major project that is short term in nature is the Butler Bridge Road and NW 1st Street project. Lots of minor changes to the intersection including sidewalks and intersection realignment and upgrades. The $51,000 cost of the project are expected to come from the street fund or a local improvement district.
Other minor street improvements involve freight route signage improvements throughout the city – $12,000 coming from the street fund, ODOT or a local improvement district. This is a short term project. And Wayfaring signs around town, $10,000, short term project, funded by street fund, Bike/Ped fund, local improvement district and/or PNW Railroad.
Bicycle and Pedestrian Projects proposed are not generally as expensive as the above, but there are a couple that will make the city’s general fund creak and groan somewhat. The most involved is a one million dollar Business Loop sidewalk (South/East Side) – East Slope Road to Sturdevant Road. It’s a medium term project and funding sources are Bike/Ped Fund, bonds, and local improvement district.
Next in line in cost is a nearly $600,000 short term project involving NW 1st Street Median and North Sidewalk/Grade-Crossing Improvements. It’s a short term project expected to be funded by the street fund, Bike/Ped Fund and/or local improvement district.
Another bicycle-pedestrian project is a Waterfront Path: East Section between NW 1st and Butler Bridge Road. Sticker price $280,000, short term and funding to come from ODOT, Bike/Ped Fund bonds, Port of Toledo and/or local improvement district.
Next is filling the sidewalk gaps on Burgess Road – $172,000, medium term, to be funded by street fund, Bike/Ped Fund, and/or local improvement district.
Also on the list is sidewalk rebuilding along “A” Street from Business Loop 20 to NW 1st Street. Weighs in at $105,000, is a short term project and would be funded through the street fund, Bike/Ped fund and/or local improvement district.
After that there is the Sturdevant Road High Visibility Crosswalks at all schools – $68,000, short term, funding to come from the county, Bike/Ped Fund and/or local improvement district.
Also, Butler Bridge Road Railroad Fencing, from NW 1st Street to SW 2nd Street, short term – $27,000 funding to come from Bike/Ped Fund, local improvement district and PNW Railroad.
And finally a device to discourage vehicular use at the pedestrian railroad crossing at Butler Bridge Road at SE 2nd Street, short term – $11,000 to come from Bike/Ped Fund and/or local improvement district.
Among more medium term bicycle pedestrian projects involve Douglas Street and 3rd Street near the Community Center – fill sidewalk gaps – $63,000, various funding, East Slope Road sidewalk extension, $551,000, various funding, Waterfront Path: West Section between Bay Boulevard and NW 1st Street – including NW 1st Street Crossing and Boardwalk – $872,000, various funding, Bay Boulevard – Depot Slough bicycle/pedestrian crossing, $1.6 million, various funding, Bay Boulevard Sidewalk – Depoe Slough to Business Loop 20, $108,000, various funding, Trail along Bay Boulevard/Yaquina Bay Road, $817,000, long term, various funding, Multi-Use Trail – Sturdevant Road, $4.2 million, long term, various funding, Business Loop 20 Multi-Use Trail (South/West Side) – US 20 to NW 6th Avenue, $2.6 million, long term, various funding.
The transportation plan also projects project for general waterfront and port projects. Phase 1: New pier, construct wash-down pad, $3.5 million, short term. Phase 2: Upgrade access road, moorage areas, $950,000, medium term, and Phase 3: Construct vessel work building offices, $2.0 million, long term.
It should be noted that the port has access to separate funding sources from roadway projects.
Transit goals under the transportation plans include strengthening and expanding transit services to Toledo and throughout the region. Toledo will also commit to finding an alternate landing site for emergency medical helo services if the Toledo Airport closes. And the city will continue to support Georgia Pacific’s effluent pipeline, and work with partners to maintain applicable environmental permitting. The plan also notes that the city will pursue local transportation options that minimizes effects on the railroad and quality of life in Toledo. That the city will encourage land use patterns that maximize rail service or preserve future opportunities to use rail transportation, and to support current rail service in Toledo.
Mayor Grutzmacher remarked that such a commitment is not a one way street and noted that relations between the PNW Railroad and the city are less than desirable over desperately needed railroad crossing improvements that have not been even acknowledged by the railroad despite repeated attempts by the city to draw their attention to them.
Again, the transportation plan is being drawn up in its final form. It’s expected the plan will be back before the city council very soon with the public being given abundant time to comment on it.
The plan is expected to be on the City of Toledo website shortly for public review and education.