SEASIDE – Work to improve the Wahanna Rd. and 12th Ave. intersection in northeast Seaside could begin next fall.

“We estimate that the street work will cost about $35,000 and the sidewalk improvements will be about $55,000,” said Neal Wallace, Seaside Public Works Director. “But the sidewalk work won’t be just a matter of pouring concrete. We will need to build retaining walls. It will be a major piece of work.”

Public works crews have already done some short term work in the area.

“We did a little patch work where things were coming apart badly,” Wallace said. “Now, we need to get some storm water work done.”

The improvements actually began after some residents formed a Local Improvement District (LID) in the 12th Avenue and Wahanna Road neighborhood about ten years ago following the 12th Ave. Bridge replacement project..

“We took advantage of the heavy equipment at that time and put in the wet well at 12th and Queen for the area pump station,” Wallace said. “When the housing development started taking off we added water and sewer lines, but the LID ended up being fragmented, because not all residents jumped in. It was a bit of a jumble and now we are playing catch up.”

Wallace said before the new homes were built, many of the lots were low and as the housing was developed the lots were brought up to street level.

“And now we have rain water collecting into the roadway,” he said.

One of the key challenges is the way the adjoining properties meet the roadway where Wahanna Road and 12th Avenue cross

“The corners on the west side are out on the pavement,” Wallace said. “We will have to make some kind of a deal to better route traffic through the intersection. Log trucks go through there, RV’s and other large trucks also use Wahanna Road. As much as I would like to have that type of traffic off that road I don’t have an alternative at this time.”

The City of Seaside’s Transportation Improvement Plan does identify an improvement project at Lewis and Clark Road and U.S. Highway 101 that would be designed to ease truck traffic off of Wahanna Road. There has been no time line set to launch that project and no specific funding source identified.

Even though the city has identified the work needed for the 12th Ave. Wahanna Rd. project, Wallace said it can’t be started right away because it would interfere with spring and summer traffic.

“We simply can’t shut down that intersection during that time,” Wallace said. “So our plan is to go out to bid in about six weeks and start the improvements next fall.”

Meantime, an $800,000 improvement project along 12th Avenue between Goodman Park and the Prom is expected to be completed by mid April.

That work includes rebuilding the street and adding sidewalks and utilities.

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