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Region 2 JTA Home > US 101/OR 6 Improvements

Construction woes remain similar for next year

By Jordan Wolfe, Tillamook Headlight Hearald - September 28, 2017 - October 5, 2017

The past year of construction, according to City Manager Paul Wyntergreen, has been the warm-up for the second half of the Highway 101/6 Project. 

“This is the year when it really hits home – Main Avenue,” he said. “I’d say we’re into this until mid-summer 2018 – and, theoretically, early fall 2018.” 

For the most part, the traffic patterns – and the coinciding traffic congestion – will not ease up until work is complete in one year. 

“We’ll lighten up with the end of tourist season, however,” Wyntergreen said. 

The project is not on schedule, however, according to Wyntergreen. Several delays and unforeseen circumstances throughout the year have altered the project’s timeline. 

“In construction, unknowns are the worst,” he said. “The initial schedule they offered? You can ball that up and throw it out the window.” 

And this scrambled schedule has had an impact on some people – particularly pedestrians attempting to cross the Hoquarton Bridge, which has become impassable on foot. 

“ODOT is having to bus people back and forth,” Wyntergreen said. “It’s a Band-Aid and we have to come up with a way to fix this stuff. [ODOT] is doing what they can to get back on track.” 

Another side effect to the years-long construction is the impact on businesses – with Burden’s Muffler and Towing and Rosenburg Builders Supply currently the most impacted, according to Wyntergreen. 

“It’s a tough nut to crack,” he said. 

Currently, the only way to get to Burden’s is south on Main Avenue, west on First Street then down Ivy Avenue – a bit of a runaround. 

“Before this started, we tried to warn people who owned businesses to plan for lean times,” Wyntergreen said. 

Businesses along Main Avenue have not been given a timeframe for how long parking will be eliminated from the section of downtown, contrary to claims from some business owners that they were given a timeline, according to Wyntergreen.

The next hurdle for the project will be storm drain work on Main Avenue – which is centrally located in downtown, situated in the middle of the road crossing at around Second Street. And it is set to begin soon. 

“It’s real deep work,” Wyntergreen said, “We have to do it before much rain starts.”

How the construction will look is undefined at the moment, but it could result in flagger-controlled traffic south on Main Avenue in downtown Tillamook. At the time of publication, Wyntergreen said he doesn’t believe ODOT will need to create a detour. 

But all isn’t doom and gloom amidst the construction. Wyntergreen offered the positives for the upcoming year. 

“I think the product is turning out very nicely and the flow is going to work really well,” he said. 

The warm reception to the completed Second Street Plaza has also been a success in the city’s eyes, with Wyntergreen specifically citing how well the recent Oktoberfest went. 

“It’s very exciting,” he said, “That’s a real win.” 

While parts of downtown resemble a construction site, Wyntergreen encouraged the community to hold onto hope for the end result – a total makeover of downtown Tillamook. 

“The cohesiveness will attract people to stop,” Wyntergreen said. “You’re already seeing investors buying into it. The private sector is already impacting downtown.”

See the full article on the Tillamook Headlight Herald's website.