GEARHART - Representatives from the Oregon Department of Transportation will go door-to-door along U.S. Highway 101 from Pacific Way to Seaside to ask business and property owners their concerns about the Pacific Way-Dooley Bridge widening project.

Gearhart City Councilor Ed Tice and Mayor Kent Smith met Tuesday with ODOT's Mike Spaeth, Interim Area 1 manager and Nathan Potter, Northwest Area consultant project manager. Smith and Tice agreed that before the city council can move forward with the project, it must have proof that business and property owners have had their concerns addressed by ODOT. Tice suggested that ODOT representatives talk personally with each business and property owner affected by the widening project.

Tice said that he is thinking about the future and realizes that some kind of solution is needed. He believes that if ODOT comes back with business and property owners' support, the council might be more willing to agree to a Memorandum of Understanding, which will then allow the design phase to begin.

Spaeth and Potter said that they hope to begin making the visits next week. They plan to come back to next month's city council meeting with their research and public comment.

"We're just trying to get to a reasonable level of comfort so we can address issues and get to the design phase," Potter said.

Seaside City Council approved a Memorandum of Understanding between ODOT and the city at the Aug. 25 city council meeting. This allows the city and ODOT to begin only the design phase of the project.

Potter said again at Tuesday's meeting that ODOT cannot "develop Seaside without affirmation from Gearhart."

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