Someone at the Oregon Department of Transportation must hate Corvallis, or at least be willing to test the city’s values.
Like a lure to a rainbow trout, the state has held out a bright, shiny object: a new Van Buren Bridge. After all, we discard the aging and less attractive amongst us, do we not?
For just three-plus years of traffic nightmares, Corvallis can have its shiny spangle.
Picture Fourth Street and Harrison Boulevard after the old bridge is gone. Right now trucks turn from Fourth with three lanes and parking strips onto one-way Van Buren Avenue with three lanes and parking strips to boot, yet now they will be turning from two lanes and no parking strips onto Harrison with two-way traffic and a left turn lane and no parking strip. How many vehicles will get through per light cycle?
Then there are trucks turning from Third Street onto Harrison into the same two-way traffic, and finally, there’s Second Street, where Highway 20 comes into the downtown. What a jam!
During the closure, bicycles will have to ascend the Harrison Bridge, a steep climb with no eastbound sidewalk. That will be hazardous.
I agree with former city councilor and mayoral candidate Rob Gandara, who pointed out that the right bridge for Corvallis is the planned northern bypass bridge.
I write this as an Albany resident who shops and plays in Corvallis: Please don’t send your traffic troubles our way; the Highway 20 straightening is all we can handle, thanks.
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