Transportation Committee hears ODOT's outlook for Hwy. 217

ODOT Jon Mackler   The Oregon Department of Transportation's Jon Mackler joined the WEA Transportation Committee this week to talk about future highway investments.
   ODOT recognizes Highway 217 as one of the region's biggest bottlenecks when it comes to congestion.  
   Mackler said ODOT is looking at alleviating some of commuters' pain by constructing a collector-distributor road that would run parallel to Highway 217 between Allen Boulevard and Denny Road.
   Transportation planners expect this would take out some of the weave most commuters experience getting on and/or off while traveling southbound Highway 217.
   He also noted that Highway 217 has about nine interchanges.
   Given the length of the highway and in comparison to other freeways, it should have maybe three.
   Most people hop on and off Highway 217 just to take it short distances too, complicating matters even more, but making it more ideal for a parallel road.
   Northbound on Highway 217, ODOT is looking at improvements around the interchange with Highway 99W.
   When asked about the highway informational signs, Mackler said it appears the signs are helping reduce accidents by 20 percent.
   In other parts of the region, Mackler shared information with the group about I-205 and the Abernethy Bridge, which is currently not up to seismic standards, yet is known as being a lifeline for the region in the event of a significant earthquake.
   Mackler spoke about I-5 at the Rose Quarter too and the need for a third lane.
   He said there is no small fixes the agency can make to the I-5 Rose Quarter, saying it takes funding the whole $400 million project to address the problems there.
   To see some of Mackler's PowerPoint slidesclick here