A Milestone for Street Improvement Projects September 18, 2020
As of late, many of you may have noticed some needed improvements on several of our streets in Coos Bay. During July and August, portions of several streets including Merchant, I, S. Nineteenth, S. Eleventh, and N. Tenth, along with Koos Bay Boulevard, Underwood and Kentucky avenues, received some much-needed attention utilizing Transportation Utility Funds (TUFs). Recently, City staff and Knife River Materials have teamed up to repair 15 problem potholes throughout the City. With the work undertaken this year, and in combination with the street improvement projects completed in 2019, nearly 650 potholes have been repaired in total!
While I know there are far more potholes which need attention, we are making progress and this milestone is part of a larger infrastructure initiative, in which the City has invested in numerous street improvement projects, some of which are listed. Additional capital road improvement and pothole repair projects are planned for next spring as additional funds become available.
The Fourth Street Safety Improvement Project, which began in June, is one of the most notable undertakings. With road reconstruction and the introduction of ADA compliant sidewalks, the updates also include new pedestrian crossings and the replacement of traffic signals. Work continues moving towards the completion date in late spring of 2021.
The City is also working with the Oregon Department of Transportation on a Safe Routes to Schools project, for which it applied and received a $2M grant to improve pedestrian and bicycle access to the new Eastside Elementary and Millicoma Middle schools. With both primary and secondary routes, the program also works to educate students on walking and biking options and how to use them safely.
Coos Bay is also embarking on an assessment / audit of upgrading the City’s street traffic lights. With more than 1,100 lights illuminating City streets, the annual cost to keep them on is more than $200K. By replacing lights with LED bulbs, Coos Bay could save more than $55K annually.
-Joe Benetti, Mayor of Coos Bay