West Linn Amends Highway 43 Agreement With the Oregon Department of Transportation

Following several years of delays, rising costs, and disputes with neighbors, the city of West Linn and the Oregon Department of Transportation have scaled back their plan to improve Highway 43 to focus on just one intersection.

According to Westlinn Tidings, when the agencies initially signed the IGA in 2018, the project aligned with the 2016 version of the city’s Highway 43 Concept Plan and spanned the corridor from Arbor Drive to I-205. This concept included improvements like protected bike lanes, enhanced pedestrian safety and a center turn lane.

Now, the project focuses on a single intersection at Highway 43 and Marylhurst Drive.

During the June 3 meeting, public works management analyst Morgan Coffie told the council the project will make the junction a “protected intersection” and improve signaling and ADA access.

The project should improve traffic flow and safety for the area, Coffie added.

Coffie explained that the project scope decreased largely due to cost increases.

“Due to budget restrictions and the length of time it’s taken, that project is not fully realized,” she said. “State projects on state facilities do require a lot of oversight above and beyond local requirements so there is a cost to doing things on a state highway and ultimately the state is in charge of managing the project. Being good partners, we’re just trying to get this done.”

Councilor Carol Bryck asked Coffie if bringing other portions of the originally-planned project back into the fold at a later date is possible. Coffie said there is always hope for more improvements on Highway 43 but noted it’s a struggle even to get ODOT to repair potholes on the roadway.

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