City of Warrenton
WARRENTON — A problematic intersection in Warrenton is getting an upgrade next year.
Due to its size and alignment, the intersection of S.W. Ninth Street and S. Main Avenue is a safety hazard, according to city staff.
“I think it’s been an issue since it was designed,” said City Engineer Collin Stelzig, the interim Public Works director.
It can be difficult to navigate the intersection and turn safely if another car is present, and the intersection can’t accommodate all vehicle types, especially larger vehicles. Still, school buses must use the intersection to reach Warrenton Elementary School.
At a City Commission meeting Tuesday night, city staff proposed a design that would adjust the position of the intersection slightly to allow vehicles to safely maneuver through the area. The new design would cut into small slivers of surrounding private property, requiring the city to obtain additional right of way through easements or by purchasing the affected sections of land.
“Public Works believes we have developed a schematic design that is economical and requires the least amount of additional right of way,” wrote City Manager Linda Engbretson in a memo to commissioners.
The capital improvement project was not on the city’s list of projects for the fiscal year, but Engbretson said it had long been one city staff hoped to move up the priority list if possible. Another street project on S.E. Second Street that came in under budget gave them an opening, she said.
The city has $175,000 left over from that street project and proposes putting the money toward a redesign of the Ninth Street and Main Avenue intersection. Design and construction work is estimated to cost $160,000.
Commissioners Pam Ackley, Mark Baldwin, Tom Dyer and Rick Newton approved a request by staff to contract for design services and construction at the Ninth Street and Main Avenue intersection. Mayor Henry Balensifer was not present. City staff plan to begin talking soon with property owners who will be affected by the redesign. Work is expected to begin next summer.