The Corvallis City Council meets remotely at 6 p.m. Monday, with the Van Buren Bridge back on the “unfinished business” portion of the agenda.
The Oregon Department of Transportation has rejected the application of the city and the Preservation WORKS group to take ownership of the bridge and move it. The city has until Oct. 12 to respond to ODOT’s concerns and figure out how to pay for the project, which ODOT says it will not pay for.
Here is a look at the four major objections ODOT raised to the city/preservationists’ application (see the web site for the full text of the city report and ODOT’s response):
• ODOT said no to the idea of the Van Buren Bridge being used as the work bridge while the agency constructs on its replacement.
• ODOT said its contractors and crews cannot be used to move the bridge.
• ODOT asked for cost estimates to move the bridge given that it cannot be used as the work bridge.
• ODOT said that city must make “a statement of willingness to accept ownership of the bridge and all future legal and financial responsibility for the bridge.”
A $30,000 Preservation WORKS engineering study estimated that it would cost $6 million to move the bridge and modify it for bicycle and pedestrian use. ODOT is planning to spend $72 million on a replacement bridge.
The staff report, prepared by City Manager Mark Shepard and Finance Director Nancy Brewer suggests three possible options for paying for the project: cuts to current programs, borrowing funds from systems development charge reserves or using the city’s fund balance reserve.
Councilors, if they want to take on ownership of the bridge, can choose one of the funding options or vote not to take ownership, as they did Oct. 21, 2019. A vote not to take ownership likely means that the bridge will be demolished.
In other local government meetings set for the coming days:
• The Albany Traffic Safety Commission meets remotely at 10 a.m. Monday to discuss the intersection of Elm Street and 12th Avenue. To participate go to https://www.gotomeet.me/CommunityDevelopmentCityofAlbany/tsc.
• The League of Women Voters of Corvallis and the NAACP are hosting a remote forum for candidates for the Corvallis City Council in Ward 7 at 6 p.m. On the ballot are incumbent Paul Shaffer and challenger Nic Bowman. The forum will be moderated by Jason Dorsette of the NAACP. To participate go to https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88560351849.
• The Albany Landmarks Commission meets remotely at 6 p.m. To participate go to https://www.gotomeet.me/CommunityDevelopmentCityofAlbany/landmarks or call 1-408-650-3123 and use the access code 368-235-021. On the agenda are a pair of public hearings, one to add rooftop solar panels to property at 1132 Ferry Street SW and the other to relocate the Cumberland Church to Main Street.
• The Albany Parks and Recreation Commission meets remotely at 6 p.m. to elect new officers and discuss capital projects. To participate go to https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/821047813 or call 1-408-650-3123 and use the access code 821-047-813.
• The Corvallis City Council meets in a 4 p.m. work session. On the agenda are an update on Oregon State University’s reopening and a session with municipal judge candidate Larry Blake, Jr. To participate go to https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3297201585397762831.
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