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'Permanent patching' set to begin on Highway 43

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Officials say they're aware of deteriorating road conditions, but final paving isn't likely to happen before summer


Photo Credit: REVIEW PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - In March, one of the two LOT road crews will be reassigned to concentrate exclusively on paving Highway 43. Road conditions have been frequently cited as a concern from residents and city officials alike. Deteriorating road conditions on Highway 43 — the result of ongoing pipeline installation for the Lake Oswego-Tigard Water Partnership — continue to draw the ire of angry residents, who say temporary patches and steel plates are causing damage to their vehicles.

But partnership spokesperson Katy Fulton said this week that crews will begin taking additional measures this month to mitigate the effects of ongoing construction.

“As of (late February), they’ve installed about three quarters of the pipe on Highway 43,” Fulton said. “Sometime in March, the two road crews will likely be too close to work together safely. So one crew will remain to install the rest of the pipe, and one will be a paving crew that will put in a more permanent paving patch. That will improve the conditions of the road.”

That upgraded paving, which Fulton called “permanent patching,” will be done in 750-foot segments. Currently, crews are progressing along Highway 43 by about 100-150 feet a night.

“It makes it a lot easier when you can patch a larger area,” Fulton said. “Right now, each night they are paving back over the work they’ve done and it’s not a smooth transition. This is more of a larger pavement patch, but it’s still temporary.”

Final paving of Highway 43 won’t take place until this summer, she said, once the pipeline is complete and crews have tested it to ensure that it is operational.

“Later in the summer, when the pipe is tested, they will do a full-lane-width paving — the entire lane where the piping was done,” Fulton said.

Final paving won’t take place on all of Highway 43, Fulton noted — just in the lanes where the pipeline was laid. But since the pipeline crosses lanes several times, the paving will be done at somewhat unusual cross-sections along the highway.

“There’s several times where the pipe crosses over, so where it crosses, that will be paved, too,” Fulton said.

In the meantime, drivers are urged to continue to use caution while driving on the road.

“The steel plates and temporary pavement patches are present and we are trying to get the message out to drive at lower speeds,” Fulton said. “We’ve heard from many, many people about the condition of the road, and we do reiterate that it’s temporary.”

That’s little comfort for residents like Janet Miles of West Linn, who still has to brave the rough stretch of Highway 43.

“Highway 43 through West Linn and Marylhurst has been the most bone-jarring drive since the wagon ruts of pioneer days,” Miles wrote in a letter to the editor of the West Linn Tidings. “Some might say this is just a temporary inconvenience, but it has done nothing to alleviate the anger and frustration generated by the entire LOT project.”

Patrick Malee can be reached at 503-636-1281 Ext. 106 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..