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Author Topic: The saga of Oregon 99W continues...  (Read 950 times)

sp_redelectric

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The saga of Oregon 99W continues...
« on: March 20, 2018, 12:37:31 AM »

ODOT can't seem to make up its mind where the northern end of Oregon 99W is.  Historically, of course it was with the junction of U.S. 99E and U.S. 99 near Delta Park and the Expo Center, but as I-5 was finished and U.S. 99 was decommissioned, ODOT eventually rolled 99W back to the Tigard/Portland city limit on I-5 Exit 294.

Over the last 15-20 years ODOT has haphazardly placed Oregon 99W route markers along Barbur Boulevard (and the southern portion of Naito Parkway) to mark state ownership, but then the signs were just as haphazardly removed.  The City of Portland wants to take jurisdiction of the street over for its own interests (namely: redevelopment, reducing speeds, road diets, and light rail), but ODOT recognizes the importance of Barbur being a reliever to I-5 and doesn't want to give up the capacity.

So to my surprise today, ODOT has embarked on a sign replacement project that, among other things, replaced the PBOT spec street sign on the traffic signal at S.W. 30th Avenue with a much larger ODOT spec sign that included the Oregon 99W route marker.

Here's a before:
https://goo.gl/maps/Pj7NF7Lko9u
« Last Edit: March 20, 2018, 03:20:47 PM by Bickendan »
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sp_redelectric

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Re: The saga of Oregon 99W continues...
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2018, 12:44:01 AM »

I would, however, recommend getting your final shots of these signs located at Barbur Boulevard, Capitol Highway and Taylors Ferry Road, right over I-5...they are likely not long for the world...

https://goo.gl/maps/LXDjFSA9QAv
https://goo.gl/maps/ER4Zci5ckWM2
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sparker

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Re: The saga of Oregon 99W continues...
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2018, 12:53:26 AM »

ODOT can't seem to make up its mind where the northern end of Oregon 99W is.  Historically, of course it was with the junction of U.S. 99E and U.S. 99 near Delta Park and the Expo Center, but as I-5 was finished and U.S. 99 was decommissioned, ODOT eventually rolled 99W back to the Tigard/Portland city limit on I-5 Exit 294.

Over the last 15-20 years ODOT has haphazardly placed Oregon 99W route markers along Barbur Boulevard (and the southern portion of Naito Parkway) to mark state ownership, but then the signs were just as haphazardly removed.  The City of Portland wants to take jurisdiction of the street over for its own interests (namely: redevelopment, reducing speeds, road diets, and light rail), but ODOT recognizes the importance of Barbur being a reliever to I-5 and doesn't want to give up the capacity.

So to my surprise today, ODOT has embarked on a sign replacement project that, among other things, replaced the PBOT spec street sign on the traffic signal at S.W. 30th Avenue with a much larger ODOT spec sign that included the Oregon 99W route marker.

Here's a before:
https://goo.gl/maps/Pj7NF7Lko9u

Question is: will ODOT follow through with continuation NB signage at the 5/99W Tigard interchange?  Or even sign 99W somewhere in the Ross Island "maze"?  Can't really fault ODOT for wanting to ensure more than a single state-maintained route up the hill from downtown to the summit.  I remember trying to get home from PSU up the hill (I lived off SW 35th and Taylors Ferry) during an ice storm back in late 1994; I-5 was shut down, so I had to slap on the chains in the PSU garage and slog up Barbur, which has less of a gradient.  Never got above 7-8 mph the whole trip (or else I would have slid off the road); I'm fortunate I had a stick at the time -- just stayed in 1st and 2nd all the way home! 

I would, however, recommend getting your final shots of these signs located at Barbur Boulevard, Capitol Highway and Taylors Ferry Road, right over I-5...they are likely not long for the world...

https://goo.gl/maps/LXDjFSA9QAv
https://goo.gl/maps/ER4Zci5ckWM2

Now that brings back memories.  From the POV in the second picture, just make a left at the second signal (Huber) and you'll be in my old neighborhood in about a half-mile! 
« Last Edit: March 20, 2018, 12:57:45 AM by sparker »
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JasonOfORoads

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Re: The saga of Oregon 99W continues...
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2018, 05:28:33 PM »

ODOT can't seem to make up its mind where the northern end of Oregon 99W is.  Historically, of course it was with the junction of U.S. 99E and U.S. 99 near Delta Park and the Expo Center, but as I-5 was finished and U.S. 99 was decommissioned, ODOT eventually rolled 99W back to the Tigard/Portland city limit on I-5 Exit 294.

According to the most recent version of the Descriptions of US and OR Routes from July 11 2008, this rollback happened on December 21 1976

Over the last 15-20 years ODOT has haphazardly placed Oregon 99W route markers along Barbur Boulevard (and the southern portion of Naito Parkway) to mark state ownership, but then the signs were just as haphazardly removed.  The City of Portland wants to take jurisdiction of the street over for its own interests (namely: redevelopment, reducing speeds, road diets, and light rail), but ODOT recognizes the importance of Barbur being a reliever to I-5 and doesn't want to give up the capacity.[/quote]

I agree that PBOT taking over Barbur would be a terrible idea. They already are having issues filling potholes on streets they already have jurisdiction over. Barbur is a heavily travelled route -- I have zero faith that they'd be able to properly maintain Barbur to the benefit of motorists and others. I trust ODOT more, despite their many screwups.

In any event, PBOT jurisdiction does not preclude the OTC from saying that the route is still OR-99W. The OTC has the final say over state routes and can put them on city streets. This is why OR-10 is still signed along Beaverton-Hillsdale and Farmington Road, even though the route itself is only about 10% under state jurisdiction (and falling). Signing the route, however, would probably not happen or be very sporadic.

So to my surprise today, ODOT has embarked on a sign replacement project that, among other things, replaced the PBOT spec street sign on the traffic signal at S.W. 30th Avenue with a much larger ODOT spec sign that included the Oregon 99W route marker.

Good. It makes no sense for Pacific Highway West #1 to have no route associated with it between the Tigard interchange and the junction with Capitol Highway/OR-10 just south of downtown. For completeness' sake it should be OR-99W. There are still a handful of shields (1, 2, 3, 4) and bridge inventory markers on these unsigned sections that still consider the road to be OR-99W, so it's really "hidden" north of the Tigard interchange.

OR-10 is technically signed along the portion from the Capitol Highway junction to the Mt. Hood Highway/Ross Island Bridge junction according to that 2008 Descriptions document, but there are exactly zero signs northbound that indicate this. Southbound there's a BGS or two at the Ross Island Bridge junction that shows the road as both OR-10 and OR-99W. Neither direction has reassurance shields of any kind.

Personally I feel it should be OR-99W from the Tigard interchange up to Exit 306 on I-5 in North Portland and liberally signed as such. 99E is still heavily signed along MLK and beyond and the bulk of that route between Exit 307 and Powell (I think?) is under PBOT jurisdiction. Why not 99W? However, once the Newberg-Dundee Bypass is fully completed I think 99W can be removed north of Rex Hill and replaced with OR-18 between there and somewhere in downtown Portland. In either case, OR-10 should be rolled back to the end of Capital Highway at Barbur, since it's pretty much a ghost otherwise.

I would, however, recommend getting your final shots of these signs located at Barbur Boulevard, Capitol Highway and Taylors Ferry Road, right over I-5...they are likely not long for the world...

https://goo.gl/maps/LXDjFSA9QAv
https://goo.gl/maps/ER4Zci5ckWM2

I love those signs and will miss them when they finally go away. I snapped some of these signs with a film camera back in late 2012. However, since those photos are now on both a dead drive and buried in a box of CDs somewhere, it's high time I go by there with my DSLR and snap them before they go away. Same thing with a bunch of other button copy that lingers in the area (SB I-5 at the Tigard/Washington County line, Jct. I-5 sign on Boones Ferry Road in Tualatin, directional signs around the Haines interchange, etc.).
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sp_redelectric

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Re: The saga of Oregon 99W continues...
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2018, 10:17:45 PM »

However, once the Newberg-Dundee Bypass is fully completed I think 99W can be removed north of Rex Hill and replaced with OR-18 between there and somewhere in downtown Portland. In either case, OR-10 should be rolled back to the end of Capital Highway at Barbur, since it's pretty much a ghost otherwise.

I wouldn't support re-naming 99W between Portland and Newberg (the busiest stretch of 99W, up to 50,000 ADT in parts of Tigard) since it would cause a lot of confusion and be really unnecessary.  Rather, I would love to see Oregon 18 eventually extended east directly to I-5, via current 219, McKay Road, Yergen Road and Ehlen Road, and possibly even all the way to 99E at Aurora.  Or, if Marion County opposes that, onto Tualatin-Sherwood Road.  Both routes act as regional, through freight/trucking routes, so they should ultimately be given a state highway number.
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sparker

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Re: The saga of Oregon 99W continues...
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2018, 12:50:53 AM »

However, once the Newberg-Dundee Bypass is fully completed I think 99W can be removed north of Rex Hill and replaced with OR-18 between there and somewhere in downtown Portland. In either case, OR-10 should be rolled back to the end of Capital Highway at Barbur, since it's pretty much a ghost otherwise.

I wouldn't support re-naming 99W between Portland and Newberg (the busiest stretch of 99W, up to 50,000 ADT in parts of Tigard) since it would cause a lot of confusion and be really unnecessary.  Rather, I would love to see Oregon 18 eventually extended east directly to I-5, via current 219, McKay Road, Yergen Road and Ehlen Road, and possibly even all the way to 99E at Aurora.  Or, if Marion County opposes that, onto Tualatin-Sherwood Road.  Both routes act as regional, through freight/trucking routes, so they should ultimately be given a state highway number.

A direct OR 18 route east to I-5 is a splendid idea -- provided the NIMBY's and other naysayers can be overridden, which doesn't seem to have occurred to date.  99W through Tigard and Sherwood is hardly an ideal facility for interregional commercial traffic -- but through inaction on an alternative has been forced into that situation, where most of the PDX-to-central-coast traffic slogs down the city street --a real problem during summer weekends where recreational traffic mixes in with the regular flow.  When I resided in the area some 20-odd years ago, there were still plans for an expressway extending west from the 5/205 interchange and bypassing Sherwood specifically to deal with that problem; those plans seem to have been shelved -- or vaporized (and that was a couple years after PDX Metro was formed).  It's too bad needed projects such as that one are effectively sunk by politics & misplaced ideology!
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JasonOfORoads

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Re: The saga of Oregon 99W continues...
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2018, 08:54:53 PM »

However, once the Newberg-Dundee Bypass is fully completed I think 99W can be removed north of Rex Hill and replaced with OR-18 between there and somewhere in downtown Portland. In either case, OR-10 should be rolled back to the end of Capital Highway at Barbur, since it's pretty much a ghost otherwise.

I wouldn't support re-naming 99W between Portland and Newberg (the busiest stretch of 99W, up to 50,000 ADT in parts of Tigard) since it would cause a lot of confusion and be really unnecessary.  Rather, I would love to see Oregon 18 eventually extended east directly to I-5, via current 219, McKay Road, Yergen Road and Ehlen Road, and possibly even all the way to 99E at Aurora.  Or, if Marion County opposes that, onto Tualatin-Sherwood Road.  Both routes act as regional, through freight/trucking routes, so they should ultimately be given a state highway number.

The way that the Newberg-Dundee Bypass is being built, though, precludes assigning McKay/Yergen/Ehlen as OR-18 unless you want to give the bit between 219 and Rex Hill a different number. Otherwise people would need to U-Turn past Rex Hill to continue on OR-18, since it's only a partial interchange at 99W.

I definitely agree that T-S Road needs a route number. I think the state might actually be looking into a jurisdictional transfer to get it, in exchange for swapping a bunch of routes that serve no purpose anymore like the Beaverton-Tualatin Highway #141. It might be better, however, to look into building a limited access parkway south of T-S Road that would more directly feed into 99W near Middleton just south of Sherwood and number that as OR-18. This has been on the table for years, even as a toll road, but hasn't gotten off the ground just yet.
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Hurricane Rex

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Re: The saga of Oregon 99W continues...
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2018, 01:37:16 AM »



However, once the Newberg-Dundee Bypass is fully completed I think 99W can be removed north of Rex Hill and replaced with OR-18 between there and somewhere in downtown Portland. In either case, OR-10 should be rolled back to the end of Capital Highway at Barbur, since it's pretty much a ghost otherwise.

I wouldn't support re-naming 99W between Portland and Newberg (the busiest stretch of 99W, up to 50,000 ADT in parts of Tigard) since it would cause a lot of confusion and be really unnecessary.  Rather, I would love to see Oregon 18 eventually extended east directly to I-5, via current 219, McKay Road, Yergen Road and Ehlen Road, and possibly even all the way to 99E at Aurora.  Or, if Marion County opposes that, onto Tualatin-Sherwood Road.  Both routes act as regional, through freight/trucking routes, so they should ultimately be given a state highway number.

The way that the Newberg-Dundee Bypass is being built, though, precludes assigning McKay/Yergen/Ehlen as OR-18 unless you want to give the bit between 219 and Rex Hill a different number. Otherwise people would need to U-Turn past Rex Hill to continue on OR-18, since it's only a partial interchange at 99W.

I definitely agree that T-S Road needs a route number. I think the state might actually be looking into a jurisdictional transfer to get it, in exchange for swapping a bunch of routes that serve no purpose anymore like the Beaverton-Tualatin Highway #141. It might be better, however, to look into building a limited access parkway south of T-S Road that would more directly feed into 99W near Middleton just south of Sherwood and number that as OR-18. This has been on the table for years, even as a toll road, but hasn't gotten off the ground just yet.

Maybe move the connection south to Elhen/McKay road for full freeway? Also I agree with the TSR being OR 18 until further notice considering it is signed as a truck route and about 20,000 AADT at least in Sherwood. Maybe get 124th/basalt creek parkway extended to I-5 and use that?

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JasonOfORoads

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Re: The saga of Oregon 99W continues...
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2018, 02:57:42 AM »

Maybe move the connection south to Elhen/McKay road for full freeway?

I'm actually researching and writing a blog post that goes over that alignment. This is the "regional bypass" corridor has been kicked around for about 50 years now; it was included in Yamhill County's 1972 Formal Comprehensive Plan, for example. It would be a 2-lane limited access expressway, possibly a super-2, from an intersection (eventually an interchange) with OR-99W across a new Willamette River bridge to an interchange with OR-219 near the McKay Road intersection. It would become 4 lanes at the interchange and be grade-separated to the junction of I-5 near present day Exit 278.

I and many roadgeeks would love getting this built. However, we might be the only people who would. It was considered as a possible routing for the Newberg-Dundee Bypass in the 1990s, but the corridor was rejected in the 2001 Tier 1 EIS for many reasons:

  • It would not have decreased traffic through Newberg and Dundee, and some models projected an increase in traffic.
  • It would be ridiculously expensive:
    • It would require a new 2-lane Willamette River bridge, elevated portions over a floodplain, and at least two interchanges.
    • Eventually it was slated to be upgraded to 4 lanes between 99W and 219, which would've required a second Willamette River bridge and likely an additional elevated carriageway.
    • The initial cost estimate (which I'm still trying to suss out of my research) also included widening 99W to a 2+1+2 lane configuration through Dundee and 4 lanes south of there to McDougall Junction
    • However, that estimate did not include the costs of upgrading the highways and roads it connected to. 219 would need to be upgraded to 4 lanes between Newberg and the bypass, adding either a bridge widening -- essentially a third Willamette River bridge -- to the tab. I-5 would have needed at minimum one additional lane between Exit 278 and I-205. Numerous county roads would probably also need to be upgraded, realigned and widened to a certain degree.
    [li]It would negatively impact 500 acres of farmland and 30-50% more farmland than other Newberg-Dundee Bypass alignments, more than what state and federal agency could justify.
  • It would increase the risk of disturbance to significant cultural sites like Champoeg State Park.

As such, Marion County -- through which most of the bypass would be routed -- passed this resolution in 2001:

Quote
It is resolved that the Marion County Board of Commissioners opposes efforts to locate the regional bypass in Marion County and urges that all consideration of locating the bypass in Marion County be immediately discontinued.

If life were Sim City, I'd enter some cheat codes and build the damn thing anyway. However, considering the state was spending money on the Bend Parkway and Eddyville Bypass, the Regional Bypass routing was dropped.

Also I agree with the TSR being OR 18 until further notice considering it is signed as a truck route and about 20,000 AADT at least in Sherwood. Maybe get 124th/basalt creek parkway extended to I-5 and use that?

I would love to see Basalt Creek Parkway extended to I-5. Here's how I'd do it:



This configuration would reduce traffic on both Grahams Ferry Road and Boones Ferry Road, especially the latter. Day Road and Boones Ferry would now meet at a signalized intersection. I also toyed around with adding a flyover ramp for northbound traffic coming from Wilsonville. It would depend on the AADT and light wait times, I imagine.

This is the only part of the long-discussed Westside Bypass that's being built. It probably should have a highway and route number once it got to I-5. Tualatin-Wilsonville Highway #145 or whatever. Not sure what a good route number would be. Maybe OR-243 or something. I think OR-18 would be more appropriate on T-S Road, at least until the so-called "I-5 Connector" gets built just south of Sherwood to relieve that road.
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Bickendan

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Re: The saga of Oregon 99W continues...
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2018, 04:28:34 AM »

Jason, I did this map several years ago -- how close does my I-884 match to the Ehlen-McKay idea?
I remember hearing this being an idea that came from residents in north Marion County.
http://bickenland.lonaf.com/Maps/Portland%20Metro%20Map.jpg
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JasonOfORoads

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Re: The saga of Oregon 99W continues...
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2018, 12:09:43 PM »

Jason, I did this map several years ago -- how close does my I-884 match to the Ehlen-McKay idea?
I remember hearing this being an idea that came from residents in north Marion County.
http://bickenland.lonaf.com/Maps/Portland%20Metro%20Map.jpg

A map of the corridor, featuring two alternatives, was included in the 2001 Tier 1 EIS. I could've sworn I'd uploaded those maps to my blog, but apparently I haven't yet. I'll have to do that once I get back in front of my home computer later tonight. From memory, it's pretty close, except their corridor connects to I-5 a little further north, close to current Exit 278. I did however upload an image from somewhere, I think it was a Tigard-Lincoln City corridor study from around 1997 Figure 4.2 on page 4-4 of the Portland to Lincoln City Corridor Interim Strategy, published March 1997 (archived copy), that shows a map of the I-5 Connector. The southern route is pretty much is the exact same as your I-505 from 99W to I-5:



By comparison, it looks like the SW 124th/Basalt Creek Pkwy project is being built more or less along the northern route, though it seems to run due south from the 99W intersection towards where the southern route turns due east towards I-5.

Edit: Added the specific study, plus links to them.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2018, 11:08:30 PM by JasonOfORoads »
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JasonOfORoads

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Re: The saga of Oregon 99W continues...
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2018, 02:05:26 AM »

Found the original maps from the Tier 1 DEIS:

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sp_redelectric

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Re: The saga of Oregon 99W continues...
« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2018, 03:35:07 PM »

The way that the Newberg-Dundee Bypass is being built, though, precludes assigning McKay/Yergen/Ehlen as OR-18 unless you want to give the bit between 219 and Rex Hill a different number. Otherwise people would need to U-Turn past Rex Hill to continue on OR-18, since it's only a partial interchange at 99W.

How so?  Exit at current 219 and go south.  While there's a partial interchange planned for 99W, a full interchange was always planned for 219, allowing 18 to exit there and continue south to McKay Road.  99W could be signed along the entire bypass, with the current 99W being demoted to a Business loop.

As for 219, 219 would retain its route number from Newberg to Hillsboro, but here's another idea - since the slog over Chehalem Mountain is hardly a preferred route, my recommendation would be for ODOT to build a new highway from the western end of Sherwood, roughly replacing Elwert Road, straight north to Scholls Ferry Road & Tile Flat; follow Tile Flat Road to Clark Hill Road, on Farmington, to 209th Avenue, and then a new road connecting it with Cornelius Pass Road.  Since Cornelius Pass is already slated to become a state highway, Highway 219 would be re-routed onto that new route, more or less providing a west-side north-south highway from U.S. 30 to Oregon 99W.  Existing 219 would then be relinquished to Washington and Yamhill Counties.

219, from McKay Road through St. Paul to Woodburn would become an extension to either Oregon 211 or 214 - 214 already meets up with 219 at I-5; however 214 zig-zags through Woodburn and has a partial concurrency with 99E for some unknown reason. 
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Re: The saga of Oregon 99W continues...
« Reply #13 on: April 02, 2018, 01:33:04 PM »

Driving through Portland on the 5 yesterday, I can confirm on NB 5, Exit 294 now reads "99W North - Barbur Blvd "
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Re: The saga of Oregon 99W continues...
« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2018, 07:20:49 PM »

And some of the signs mounted at traffic signals have been replaced.  The S.W. 30th Avenue sign, which used to be a PBOT sign with the rose, is now a much larger ODOT sign with the Oregon 99W shield on it, and no rose.
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