Rural intersection in line for makeover
The Yamhill County commissioners gave their approval Monday to an option presented to them by Public Works Director John Phelan and consulting engineer Tony Roos of Cardno Engineering.
Just to the south, Intervale merges into Oak Springs Farm, then Oak Springs Farm merges into Abbey. Abbey and Hendricks then meet at an acute angle to form Kuehne, which heads on north to intersect with Highway 240.
Plans call for widening Hendricks, Abby and Kuehne at the intersection point and using the additional space to create a freeway-style merge. They also call for creating dedicated turn lanes for traffic moving between Hendricks and Abbey rather than turning north onto Kuehne.
Traffic between Carlton and Newberg will be able to continue moving through the merge point unimpeded. In addition, dedicated bike lanes will be created to make cycling safer.
Phelan said the new intersection should eliminate confusion among visitors not familiar with the area, made worse when nightfall and adverse weather reduce visibility.
Commissioner Kathy George asked if large farm trucks would be able to navigate the new intersection. Roos said they had taken truck traffic into account.
Roos said they also considered creating a roundabout and having Hendricks and Abbey meet in a T-shaped intersection with Kuehne. He said both options would have cost more and had more impact on surrounding wetlands.
Phelan said he had money set aside for the project. He said he hoped crews could begin work next summer.
In the interim, the county will begin acquiring additional right of way, he said.