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Big McLoughlin Boulevard paving project gears up

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For those using McLoughlin Boulevard this spring and summer, there willl be periods of major inconvenience

DAVID F. ASHTON - At a previous meeting in Sellwood, ODOT Region 1 Community Affairs Coordinator Lili Boicourt told how traffic will be impacted during the McLoughlin Boulevard rebuilding project, especially near the Crystal Springs Creek bridge. The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) revealed a year ago a bridge reconstruction, improvement, and paving project for the road they call Oregon Highway 99E – otherwise known as S.E. McLoughlin Boulevard.

As disclosed in THE BEE last May, the months-long project – which will start at S.E. Harold Street and move south to S.E. Harrison Street at the north end of the City of Milwaukie – will disrupt traffic along the highway through this summer.

ODOT Region 1 Community Affairs Coordinator Lili Boicourt tells THE BEE that the contractor has now been selected, and work is beginning in March.

COURTESY OF ODOT - The ODOT OR 99E Paving Project: S.E. Harold Street to S.E. Harrison Street will affect this portion of S.E. McLoughlin Boulevard. The 2.6 mile stretch of highway was last worked on in 1994, and has deteriorated to the point that it needs to be repaired. "Grinding and repaving the highway will repair and preserve the road, and provide a smoother roadway surface," Boicourt explains.

The Crystal Springs Creek Bridge opposite the Westmoreland Union Manor will also be replaced with a new culvert. "Replacing the bridge necessitates four full weekend closures of northbound 99E from S.E. Tacoma Street," Boicourt said. The official northbound detour for closures is Highway 224 to I-205; but most likely drivers will instead choose to use S.E. 17th and/or Milwaukie Avenue from south of the work area, to S.E. McLoughlin north of Harold Street.

McLoughlin Boulevard will get a "full makeover" during the project, which includes widening the highway foundation in some areas – particularly between Harold and Tacoma Streets – and improving drainage in others.

Learn more, including the schedules for road closures and paving work, at a "drop in" open house ODOT is holding at SMILE Station in Sellwood, S.E. 13th at Tenino Street, on Tuesday afternoon, April 4, from 5 until 7 p.m.

Another source for ongoing information is online: www.99Epaving.org