Why is the City doing this project?
The purpose of the Boones Ferry Road Improvement Project is to create a street that serves as the centerpiece of the Lake Grove area. The concept for the street imagines a safe, welcoming and convenient pedestrian and bicycle environment, where auto traffic is accommodated efficiently and safely, stormwater is treated naturally, and businesses needs are successfully met.
Where is the project located?
The limits of the current Boones Ferry Road project (phase 1) is from Madrona Street to the Oakridge Road/Reese Road intersection. A new traffic signal with pedestrian crosswalks will also be installed at Lanewood Street, and Boones Ferry Road will be widened to add left-turn lanes at the Lanewood intersection.
What about Phase 2?
A second future phase of the project will construct full street improvements on Boones Ferry Road from the Oakridge/Reese Road intersection to Kruse Way. This phase is not scheduled at this time. Given funding constraints, this phase many not occur for a number of years.
What improvements are included?
Improvements to enhance the streetscape, make the street safer, and improve access to businesses include:
- New, safer sidewalks with street trees, lighting, street furniture and landscaping
- Three new signalized intersections with pedestrian crosswalks at Madrona Street, the McDonald’s driveway and Lanewood Street
- Two new mid-block pedestrian crosswalks
- Landscaped medians with left turn lane improvements
- New 5-foot wide bike lanes on both sides of the street
- Expanded sidewalk areas
- New stormwater treatment planters that improve water quality
- Overhead utilities relocated underground
What are the project benefits?
This project will:
- Create a safe and welcoming street for pedestrians,
- Support existing and future businesses on Boones Ferry by improving the public right-of-way and access to businesses,
- Improve safety for cyclists traveling on Boones Ferry Road,
- Improve stormwater management so that fewer pollutants find their way into the watershed,
- Accommodate auto, truck and bus traffic safely and efficiently,
- Define the character of Lake Grove through its design and streetscape enhancements.
What is the project schedule?
- Final Design and Right-of-Way Acquisition: 2016 – early 2019
- Construction (approx. 2 1/2 year duration): mid 2019 – late 2021
How will the City pay for this work?
The most recent (May 2020) cost estimate for Phase 1 of the Boones Ferry Road Improvement Project is $37 million. The funding plan is:
Urban Renewal Funds $27.5 million
General Obligation Bond $5 million
Oregon Dept. of Transportation Federal Grant $4 million
Transportation System Dev. Charges $500,000
Cost estimates for large multi-million dollar infrastructure projects can fluctuate as design moves from concept to detailed engineering plans, and through construction. As more is known about a project’s elements, the more precise cost estimates become.
For example, when the project was at 60% design, there was a fairly high degree of confidence in the costs associated with 60% of the project while another 40% of the cost is an estimation based on experience. Costs only become final when contractors are hired and construction begins. And even then we know surprises can arise. This is why every construction project has working “contingencies” built into their estimates.
The bottom line is that the true final cost of a large project is never known until the last worker leaves the job site and the final bill is paid.
How did the Boones Ferry Road project come about?
A community-driven process to improve Boones Ferry Road began two decades ago. In 2008, following years of work by community leaders and City staff, the Lake Grove Village Center Plan was adopted by City Council and incorporated into City Code. That Plan defines implementation measures to achieve the community’s vision for a welcoming, comfortable town center. The transformation of Boones Ferry Road to address infrastructure and amenity deficiencies is the key element of that vision.
In 2012, the City Council adopted a goal for that year to develop an implementation strategy for the Village Center Plan. The City developed the Lake Grove Village Center Financial Study and adopted the Lake Grove Village Center Urban Renewal Plan creating a new urban renewal district and providing funding for the two most important projects in the Plan:
- Boones Ferry Road Improvements, from Madrona Street to Kruse Way.
- Village Center Parking Improvements, to provide additional public parking and to replace parking lost as a result of the Boones Ferry Road project.
What are the current traffic volumes on Boones Ferry Road?
Daily traffic volumes on Boones Ferry Road vary between 19,000 vehicles per day near Madrona Street to 24,000 vehicles per day near Oakridge Road. These volumes are similar to those on Kruse Way and Country Club Road, and slightly more than the traffic volumes on A Avenue in downtown Lake Oswego.
Are traffic volumes expected to increase in the future? If so, how will Boones Ferry Road handle the additional traffic?
Yes, with anticipated future redevelopment in Lake Oswego and Lake Grove specifically, traffic volumes on Boones Ferry are expected to increase by 25% to 30% by the year 2040. Boones Ferry today has some capacity to handle additional traffic. With this reserve capacity and the proposed project changes (primarily the median that eliminates mid-block left turns), Boones Ferry Road will have adequate capacity to handle future traffic volumes forecasted for 2040.
What changes will be made to Boones Ferry to improve traffic safety?
One of the primary reasons for doing the Boones Ferry project is to improve traffic safety. There will be a number of changes that will accomplish this including:
- Providing a raised median down the center of the street to eliminate mid-block left-turn problems into and out of businesses.
- Installing new traffic signals at Madrona, the McDonald’s driveway and at Lanewood to control traffic, provide for safer turns onto and off of Boones Ferry at these locations, and allow for U-turns.
- Realigning the access out of Lake Grove Elementary School to line up with Lanewood to improve safety for bus and school traffic at this new signalized intersection.
- Providing better street lighting to make the street safer at night.
- Removing all utility poles on both sides of the street.
A traffic study will also be conducted after the project is completed. There is a potential for lowering the speed limit from 30 mph to 25 mph.
What changes will be made to Boones Ferry to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety?
Similar to vehicle traffic, the project will make a number of changes to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety including:
- Building new, wider sidewalks that will be further setback from vehicle traffic;
- Installing several new marked crosswalks that will make crossing Boones Ferry Road easier and safer;
- Installing a new traffic signal at Lanewood to provide for safe crosswalks for Lake Grove Elementary School;
- Providing new bike lanes so bicyclists won’t have to mix with pedestrians and/or vehicles; and
- Providing better street lighting to make the street safer at night for both pedestrians and bicyclists
What are Expanded Sidewalk Areas as shown on the Boones Ferry Road Conceptual Plan?
New 9-foot-wide sidewalks with planting areas will be provided on both sides of Boones Ferry Road in the vast majority of locations between Oakridge and Madrona. Where planting areas exist, the new sidewalk will be only 5.5-foot wide. While this width is adequate, it’s not overly generous for pedestrians. To improve the pedestrian environment along Boones Ferry, the Project Advisory Committee and Project Team considered wider “expanded sidewalk areas” at locations on each side of Boones Ferry where there are underutilized remnant portions of private property. These expanded pedestrian areas would provide opportunities for art, street furniture (such as benches, bike racks and fountains), and additional landscaping and trees. There are a total of nine expanded sidewalk areas included in the final design. Constructing each will depend on approval from the respective property owners as well as the availability of project funds.
With the proposed raised median almost the entire length of the project, how will customers and employees access adjacent businesses?
At all major intersections with traffic signals, left-turn lanes will be designed to also allow U-turns. Customers and employees needing to get to businesses on the opposite side of the street can go to the next signalized intersection and make a U-turn.
What size of vehicles will be able to make the U-turns at the major intersections?
Full-sized passenger vehicles, including larger SUVs such as a Chevy Suburban, will be able to make the U-turns.
What will larger vehicles do that are unable to make a U-turn at the intersections?
Drivers of larger trucks (like Ford F-150 and Chevy Silverado trucks, as well as any larger delivery trucks) will need to plan their trips in a way that will allow them to access their destinations by making right turns. This is common practice for truck drivers who make deliveries in urban areas on a regular basis.
With all the proposed changes, will drivers avoid Boones Ferry Road and use local neighborhood streets instead? If so, what steps are being taken to try to minimize this potential cut-through traffic?
As designed, Boones Ferry Road will be able to carry more traffic as traffic volumes increase in the future. However, due to the new traffic signals and center median, traffic patterns in the area may change. The Project Team has worked with the three neighborhoods adjacent to Boones Ferry Road – Lake Grove, Lake Forest and Waluga neighborhoods – to better understand future neighborhood traffic issues and minimize potential impacts to residents. Initial meetings with the three neighborhoods were held in the fall of 2016. Concerns expressed by residents were primarily about additional cut-through traffic and pedestrian safety on neighborhood streets. As a result, proposed neighborhood traffic or pedestrian improvements included in the project are: a pathway on Lanewood Street between Boones Ferry Road and Boones Way, curb extensions and an all-way stop at on Madrona at Waluga Drive, and a driver feedback radar speed sign on Quarry Road.
The street is currently not very wide. How will the new sidewalks, bike lanes, left turn lanes, stormwater planters and medians fit in this relatively small space?
The existing street is too narrow to be able to accommodate all the proposed changes to Boones Ferry. As such, additional right-of-way and/or easements are needed from properties along Boones Ferry. A significant amount of effort has gone into the design of Boones Ferry to minimize the amount of additional right-of-way needed to build the project while still providing the necessary street improvements.
How many properties are affected by the acquisition of additional right-of-way?
Additional right-of-way and easements are being acquired from 50 properties along Boones Ferry Road and portions of Bryant Road, Reese Road, and Red Cedar Way.
What is the process for acquiring this right-of-way?
The acquisition process has been underway since 2016. Formal notices from the City’s right-of-way agent were sent to property owners who own land where additional right-of-way and/or easements are needed. After these notices went out, certified appraisers determined the compensation for the land and the improvements that will be affected. Based on this appraisal, the right-of-way agent prepared an offer and presented it to the property owner. The owner can accept or reject the offer. If it’s rejected, the owner should present reasons why the appraisal was incorrect. Ideally, the owner and City will arrive at an agreed upon amount. If the two parties cannot agree, the City will initiate condemnation proceedings and the compensation will then be determined by the court.
During rainstorms, stormwater is a problem all along Boones Ferry. How will the project deal with this?
Currently, stormwater systems are deficient and the untreated water runs directly to Oswego Lake. New stormwater facilities will be built as part of the project to handle stormwater runoff from typical rainstorms. These new facilities include stormwater planters that will treat much of the water by removing pollutants. Most stormwater will then infiltrate directly into the ground minimizing excess runoff into the stormwater system. For larger rainstorms, water that doesn’t infiltrate into the ground will be treated before it flows to Oswego Lake improving the overall water quality of the Lake.
Parking is also a problem in certain areas along Boones Ferry Road. Will parking become a bigger problem when the street is widened and some parking is lost?
For most properties, existing parking will not be affected. However, there eight (8) properties where parking will be impacted. The City has worked with these owners to explore ways to replace the lost parking through reconfiguring their remaining parking areas. It appears that replacing nearly all of the lost parking is possible. While the project would pay for this work, the decision to actually do it will be left up to each individual property owner.
What’s the long term plan for additional parking in Lake Grove?
The Lake Grove Village Center Parking Management Plan, completed in spring 2016, addresses parking needs and opportunities in the Lake Grove area. This includes the acquisition of property and construction of public parking on underutilized parcels within the Village Center area. The Plan and related materials can be found at http://www.ci.oswego.or.us/citymanager/lake-grove-village-center-parking-management-plan.
How many trees along Boones Ferry Road will be removed by the project?
Approximately 120 trees will be removed in order to widen the street and construct the improvements for phase 1.
How many new trees will be planted as part of the project?
Approximately 170 new trees will be planted on both sides of Boones Ferry and in the center median area.
During construction, how will customers and employees access nearby businesses?
Minimizing impacts to businesses, residents and the traveling public is a primary goal of the project. During construction, access to businesses will be maintained during business hours. Signage will be posted to help customers navigate the area and access driveways safely.
The work will likely be constructed in stages, with at least one travel lane in each direction open during construction. Work will likely be taking place at both daytime and nighttime hours. Some lanes will be closed and traffic will be shifted – there will be delays and disruption, but Boones Ferry Road will remain open during construction. Driveways to businesses may be partially closed while they are being reconstructed, but access will be retained. Final construction staging plans will be developed prior to actual construction. Additional project staff will be available to work with businesses to address their concerns and to address problems as they arise during construction.
Will traffic be detoured onto local residential streets during construction?
There will be no designated traffic detours onto local streets or adjacent neighborhoods, as Boones Ferry Road will remain open throughout construction. However, given the complexity of the construction work, some drivers may decide to use local streets instead of driving through the construction area. The Project Team will do what it reasonably can to minimize the likelihood of this happening.
Will the entire street be under construction at the same time?
The current plan is to construct the street improvements in stages. For each stage, traffic will be shifted to allow for construction in a specific area. Lane closures – but not whole road closures – will be required for paving and constructing certain portions of the street. Minimizing traffic impacts to businesses, residents and the traveling public is a primary goal of the project.
How will dump trucks and heavy equipment be kept out of neighborhoods?
Large equipment operators will be directed to use Boones Ferry Road as much as possible and to stay out of neighborhoods. The contractor will be required to use only City-approved haul routes for dump trucks and heavy equipment. Project inspectors will monitor construction traffic and ensure the contractor stays on the approved haul routes.
What will traffic control look like during construction?
Some lanes will be closed and traffic will be shifted. Existing traffic signals and signs will be maintained in some manner throughout construction. As necessary, flaggers or signage will be used to safely direct pedestrians and vehicles within the work area.
How can I stay informed?
Opportunities to learn more about the project include:
- Attending a project Open House. An Open House will be held on January 10, 2019, to share the final design work.
- Leaving a comment on the project webpage or emailing us at email@example.com.
- Calling the Project Team directly on 503-697-6573.
- Following the City of Lake Oswego’s social media accounts – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the #boonesferryproject
- Signing-up for email notices that provide information about upcoming meetings, and other project-related work.