OR 213/I-205 to Redland Road Crossing (Jughandle) Project Receives APWA Project of the Year Award

October 01, 2013

The OR 213/I-205 to Redland Road Crossing (Highway 213 Jughandle) project has been open to the public for almost a year, but its successes are still being celebrated. On August 26, Aleta Froman-Goodrich from the City of Oregon City and Hermanus Steyn from Kittelson & Associates, Inc. (KAI) attended the 2013 American Public Works Association (APWA) International Public Works Congress and Exposition to accept the Project of the Year Award for Transportation ($25-75M).

“Of all the projects throughout the US that were submitted, to be selected as the one project in this category is pretty neat,” says Hermanus.

The awards ceremony was held on the second day of the Congress, which ran from August 25 to 28, 2013. Hermanus described the presentation as “Hollywood-style” with a large stage and impressive media. Awards were accepted from current APWA President Ed Gottko in four divisions (ranging from less the $5 million to over $75 million) and five categories (Disaster or Emergency, Environment, Historical Restoration/Preservation, Structures, and Transportation).

For the City and the consultant team (which was led during the design and construction phases by OBEC Consulting Engineers and included KAI), though, the real win came in the form of feedback from the public following construction the jughandle project.

“We have received very good comments from the public on the overall improvements,” says Aleta. “That’s pretty amazing because you usually don’t hear the good things that come out of an improvement; you just hear the complaints.”

The comments the City has received highlight the ease with which commuters and residents are able to get through the improved interchange. Aleta notes that drivers are no longer backed up onto Beavercreek Road or I-205 during peak hours. Overall, she says, the improvement is “operating the way it was intended to.”

The City did have to address some issues related to signing after the project was opened to the public. Some drivers reported confusion upon approaching the interchange, especially related to which lane feeds to what road or highway.

Aleta says that, “We have continued to add signage within a limit. If you sign everything, then you wind up with a whole bunch of signs and no one is reading them. We have focused on helping people get onto I-205 and that seems to have helped.”

Tom Weatherford of the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) worked with the project since its inception and is impressed by how well it pulled together in the end. ODOT encouraged the City to pursue the Jobs and Transportation Act (JTA) funding that not only saw the project through to construction, but supported the state legislature’s goal of “getting Oregon back to work.” Tom noted that the project was particularly successful in the traffic control surrounding the accelerated bridge construction and associated road closure in March 2012.

“This has been a long, complex project,” Tom says. “Everyone is glad when these are over and they’re able to enjoy the completed work and the completion celebrations.”

Hermanus echoes Tom’s sentiments. He says, “As a professional, to be involved with such a project is really a privilege. These types of projects don’t come along that often in your career. This project started as private development to encourage economic development. It had this great vision to serve the City locally and from a regional perspective.”

The completed Highway 213 Jughandle project appears to have achieved that vision. But no one that worked on it is ready to rest on their laurels.

“This project has such an amazing story with some real successes that I don’t think you could duplicate very often,” she says. “But I’d be excited to work on another large project.”

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