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Benton County Road Projects
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Benton County Road Projects

MVBC Advocates meet with Benton County Commissioner Pat Malone February 2024

Pat’s been working for years to improve the bicycle connections between Albany and Corvallis near to Highway 20 and separated from it.  He reported that a section near Corvallis, from the intersection with Conifer to Merloy Avenue is planned to be paved in 2024.  Pat expects paving a year later for a section in North Albany, from Rainwater Ln to Hickory St.

There are several miles of highway speed traffic between Merloy Ave. and Rainwater Lane.  A bit or two of that, around the intersection with the Corvallis Independence Highway, already has a protected bike lane.  Recently grant funding has come through toward bike facilities for the middle section of this route.  It is for planning and 30% design.  The work on that is just getting started.

The latest information any of us have on the future widening of Riverside Drive is at https://hh-today.com/widening-the-rest-of-riverside-has-to-wait. The information is not all that promising.  This southerly route is a more quiet and pleasant one than along Highway 20.  It is less direct for tying NW Corvallis homes and businesses to downtown Albany.  

Pat thinks that Benton County may be able to fix the pavement on the Midge Cramer Path, then turn the responsibility over to the City of Corvallis, which has a park on the west end of the path.  We reminded him of the need for pavement work on the path next to 53rd St.  

A gravel evacuation route has recently been completed tying Oak Creek Drive to Ponderosa Ave. Laurel Byer from Benton County Public Works is developing a map of land and path responsibilities in this neighborhood.  

We spoke about the courthouse and emergency operations center coming to the west of the Hewlett-Packard campus.  We recommended a multi-use path running north from there to NE Circle Blvd.  

Chapel Drive – The county advertised a request for bids (GT 4/26/23) for the re-construction of Chapel Drive from Bellfountain Road to S. 16th Street in Philomath.  The project includes paved shoulders on both sides of the road and a “table top” intersection at the19th Street; that’s a raised intersection with turn lanes, signage and similar improvements. Bids are due to the county by May 11. This project has been on the area’s priority list since 2012. There may be some right of way and easement challenges that would affect the project timeline and width of the paved shoulders. Original plans were to have up to 8` shoulders.

Project website here:  https://www.co.benton.or.us/publicworks/project/chapel-drive-bikeway-improvement

Update as of 10/10/2023

Project is complete and construction signage removed

Update as of 9/21/23

Per Benton County Public Works project engineer, the detour has ended as expected on 9/20. However, the contractor has left detour signs up to minimize traffic on the road as paving continues. Delays are expected to be time consuming; cyclists are encouraged to avoid the roadway until the project wraps up by October.

Update as of 7/1/23

Project construction is underway from 16th Street, Philomath eastward.  Utilities are being moved and/or installed and right of way ground and vegetation removed. There are periodic travel delays with flagger traffic controls.  Careful how you go…….

Update as of 6/15/23

Planned completion date is September 1st. Cyclists will be flagged through the work zone like other traffic. Loose rock likely on construction site. Recreational cyclists advised to avoid the road during the summer. One closure will be for the replacement of the East Fork Newton Creek culvert.  The other will be for the installation of a raised table top intersection at 19th and Chapel.  These will roughly run from mid-July to mid-August

Two separate road closures of 2 weeks in duration.  

Update as of 6/14/23

Benton County Public Works staff announces that project construction starts Tuesday, June 20.  There will be periodic full and partial road closures throughout construction.  Detours will be posted as needed.

Springhill Drive Gary Stockhoff, Benton County PW, reports that the “notorious” stretch of Springhill Drive between Scenic Drive, and Buena Vista Road will be re-paved this summer starting mid-August.  There may be some shoulder enhancements but that depends upon right of way and easements. We’re hoping for and will pursue safe shoulder enhancements like there are closer to Albany.

Update as of 9/1/23

¼ mile of shoulders along Buena Vista road were enhanced with additional asphalt. No base rock was added.