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JTA Home > Region 2 JTA Home > US101/OR6 Traffic Improvement Project

Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

What does this project do?

The streets that U.S. 101 and OR 6 use were never designed to carry the kind of large trucks and the volume of traffic that moves through town now. This project will improve traffic operations and safety by widening downtown lanes on Main and Pacific Avenues and providing new crosswalks at select locations.

Traffic signal upgrades are planned for major intersections and left turn lanes will be added to decrease wait time and through-traffic congestion. Pacific Avenue has been extended north past 1st Street to connect with a new Hoquarton Bridge on U.S. 101. On-street parking will be maintained by narrowing sidewalks by about two feet on both sides.

The new crosswalks and reconstructed sidewalks will meet American for Disabilities (ADA) requirements.

What has been accomplished so far?

The City and ODOT coordinated closely during the design phase and they are collaborating to jointly fund renovations to Tillamook streetscapes as part of the project design and construction. Improvements underway include:

  • A new bike and pedestrian trail will be built along the abandoned Port of Tillamook Railroad line from Hoquarton Park to Goodspeed Park
  • A plaza area on 2nd Street between Main and Pacific Avenues is now complete and available to be used for festivals and as a community gathering place
  • Preparation of a Welcome to Tillamook site for future signage and other amenities where U.S. 101 separates into Main and Pacific Avenues just north of OR 6
  • Building a new plaza in front of the Tillamook Museum
  • Directional signage and striped bike lanes to move bicyclists off of U.S. 101 and onto city streets in downtown
  • Benches and bike racks on some downtown sidewalks
  • Concrete crosswalk treatments on local streets at intersections with U.S. 101
  • Decorative light poles
  • Tree planting and replacement along Pacific, on U.S. 101 north of OR 6, and in Hoquarton Park 

Design Questions

What will the bioswales look like when they are finished?

Bioswales will be filled with rock, soil and native plants. Bioswales are landscape elements designed to concentrate or remove silt, pollution and other impurities out of surface runoff water before they can get into streams and ground water. They are part of the environmental protection required on most large transportation projects.

What’s happening with the Hoquarton Bridge and Park area?

The new U.S. 101 Hoquarton Bridge will have four lanes and will be about three feet higher than the current bridge. There will be ADA compliant sidewalks and bike lanes on both sides of the highway. Decorative treatments to the bridge railings and pylons along with step-out viewing platforms will add to the bridge’s appeal. Trees will be planted within the sidewalks along U.S. 101 leading to the bridge to the north of OR 6.

Hoquarton Park will have improved one-way drive through traffic entrance and exit access. Other upgrades to the park include:

  • A new connection to the existing pathway trail
  • Expanded parking
  • A cul-de-sac turnaround and connection to adjoining private parcels

Why is the width of the sidewalks downtown being reduced?

In some areas the width of sidewalks will be reduced in order to increase the size of U.S. 101 travel lanes to meet the current ODOT standard of twelve feet. Currently the travel lanes in downtown Tillamook are only ten feet wide and there have been a relatively high number of low-speed crashes in downtown Tillamook that can be attributed to the narrow lanes. These accidents tend to involve large trucks and recreational vehicles side-swiping parked cars. Some traffic congestion in downtown can also be attributed to the sub-standard lanes.

The environmental study phase of the project explored the tradeoffs associated with narrowing sidewalks in order to widen travel lanes. Downtown Tillamook is considered a Special Transportation Area because the highway goes through compact urban development. As such, ODOT guidelines prioritize local access needs over highway mobility. However, public feedback received during the environmental study indicated that it would be preferable to narrow the sidewalks and widen the travel lanes in order to improve the flow of traffic and reduce the number of vehicle conflicts. This trade-off was considered acceptable with regards to the STA guidelines because the existing 12-foot sidewalks are two feet wider than the minimum standard. Although the sidewalk width is being reduced, sidewalks will still meet ADA requirements.

How much does this cost?

The project is being funded with $30.7 million from the 2009 Oregon Jobs and Transportation Act, $1.8 million from other state funding sources, and $5.8 million in Federal funding. More information about the Jobs and Transportation Act is available at www.oregon.gov/ODOT/pages/jta.aspx

Construction Questions

When will construction be complete?

Construction is planned to be complete in the fall of 2018 and will occur in stages to minimize impacts to traffic and businesses. Construction will be limited to off-highway work during the summer to minimize traffic impediments during the tourist season.

How will construction impact downtown property owners?

The team has been working closely with property owners where the project results in changes to existing properties, including several buildings that were removed to allow for the extension of Pacific Avenue to the north. ODOT is also working closely with property owners that have existing building improvements such as basements, signs, and awnings that are being impacted by the downtown improvements.

How is the project maintaining downtown access for visitors and through-travelers?

Maintaining access and mobility in downtown Tillamook during construction is a key project goal. Although there will be some unavoidable delays and lane closures, as well as sidewalk and parking impacts, there will always be access to downtown during construction. No detours off of U.S. 101 are planned. Construction will be limited to off-highway work during the summer months to further minimize impacts during the higher traffic volume tourist season. ODOT will continue to work with the City and business operators to minimize these temporary inconveniences.

Will the U.S. 101 bridge ever be completely closed to traffic?

No. The bridge is being built in two stages with one side being completed in each stage. In Stage 1 the current bridge will be used to allow a traffic lane in each direction. In Stage 2, the newly constructed portion of the bridge will allow for one lane of traffic in each direction. This approach minimizes travel impacts, although some short closures may be needed to accommodate construction activities.

Will bike or pedestrian detours be necessary?

Yes. There will be periods of construction when sidewalks are closed downtown and pedestrians are detoured. To minimize out-of-direction travel for pedestrians, closures are planned to be limited to one side of the street and on one block at a time.

Are there any special considerations being made for emergency vehicles?

Yes. ODOT requires construction contractors to provide immediate passage for all emergency vehicles at all times.

Are there staging areas that people should be aware of?

For this project, the contractor is using the area south of Hoquarton Slough, the site of the former Shell Station, and east of U.S. 101 as a staging area.

Will there be special construction worker parking?

It will be left up to the contractor to ensure that workers are obeying all parking rules. ODOT is not planning to designate a special construction worker parking area.

What will happen to the Shell Station and other properties that were purchased by the project?

Some open areas will be landscaped and managed by the city. Others will be incorporated into the Hoquarton park area. The Shell Station property is currently being used for construction staging and will be sold at the end of construction.

Is there going to be a lot of noise, mess, or vibrations at specific phases of the project?

During construction, there is always a potential for unwanted noise and mess. The contractor will be required to obey laws related to noise and trash. The contractor has special requirements related to vibrations, especially near some of the buildings in the downtown area.

Does the construction schedule allow for weather-related delays?

Yes. The construction schedule accounts for a number of constraints that impact a contractor’s ability to work. This includes weather, relocation of overhead and underground utilities that must be performed by the utility owner (and not the construction contractor), not working on the highway during the summer to accommodate local businesses, and Hoquarton Slough permitted in-water-work periods.

Is the contractor going to fix that gap, crack, hole, etc.?

Yes. ODOT will make sure that any unresolved design and construction issues are settled before the contractor concludes their work. If you have a specific issue or concern, please contact the ODOT Project Manager (see below).

What should I do if I think my property has been damaged by construction activities?

The contractor is required to carry insurance to address accidental damages to property. If you have a question about how to file a claim, contact the ODOT Project Manager (see below).

What resources are available for businesses in downtown Tillamook during construction?

The City of Tillamook has contracted with the Tillamook Area Chamber of Commerce to provide information about project activities and their impacts to downtown businesses and traffic. For more information, or to sign up for regular updates through the Chamber of Commerce’s email list, contact hwyproject@tillamookchamber.org. 

How are underground tanks impacting the project?

It is not uncommon to find surprises like underground tanks in locations with older infrastructure. This has been the case in downtown Tillamook where it is difficult to know what was buried in the ground many years ago.

When tanks are found, they must be removed or decommissioned since they can become a source of soil and groundwater contamination and may even pose fire and explosion hazards. When possible, these tanks are emptied and decommissioned in place instead of being removed since this poses fewer risks to nearby buildings and underground utilities.

So far the project schedule has not been significantly impacted by the discovery of tanks in the project area.

For more information about underground storage tanks and related requirements, visit the DEQ Tanks Program website: www.oregon.gov/deq/tanks

More Information

How can I find out about upcoming construction activities during the project?

The project website (www.TillamookTraffic.org) will provide regular updates during construction. You can also sign up for the project mailing list to receive email notifications. Residents and property owners will be contacted in advance of activities that will have noticeable impacts to their properties or businesses.

For more information or to schedule a meeting between the project and your organization, contact:

Ken Kohl, ODOT Project Manager
kenneth.l.kohl@odot.state.or.us
(541) 747-1496