Multnomah County on Thursday authorized its transportation division to begin negotiations for property purchases to allow construction of improvements on Southwest 257th Drive between Southwest Sturges Drive/Cherry Park Road and Southeast Stark Street in Troutdale.
The thoroughfare is one of the most heavily traveled roads in Troutdale, according to the county, and provides an important connection to Interstate 84 and U.S. Route 26. Currently, heavy traffic including large trucks and other motor vehicles as well as a high posted speed limit contribute to safety issues in the corridor, the county states on its website.
In October 2022, the transportation division presented an online survey in which community members identified issues related to walking, driving, biking, rolling, and freight hauling along 257th Drive, a county staff report states.
Division staffers then developed a safety improvement project for the corridor. The plan is to upgrade pedestrian crossings, install signal improvements and radar feedback signage, widen bike lanes, improve bus stops, and add bike boxes. A bike box is a designated area of green-painted pavement at an intersection that provides a more visible space for cyclists to wait at a red light.
Multnomah County’s project manager is Stephen McWilliams. Parametrix is the design engineer. The project team will select a construction contractor this fall, according to a county spokesperson.
Sixteen properties will be directly impacted by the project. Acquisitions of right of way, via temporary construction and permanent easements, are necessary to allow installation of ADA-compliant curb ramps, pedestrian push buttons, bus stops, and pedestrian hybrid beacons.
The resolution approved Thursday authorizes county staff to begin evaluating compensation offers to property owners to acquire the necessary easements. If negotiations are successful, staff will return to the county’s Board of Commissioners and request that the group approve and accept the proposed settlements.
The project’s cost estimate is $8 million. Most of that is being covered by county roadway funds; the Mid-County Lighting District is contributing $600,000 for lighting improvements, and the state is providing $45,000 in grants for construction of bike boxes on 257th Drive and Sturges Drive.
Construction is expected to begin this fall and finish in late 2025.