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ODOT event looks at Hwy. 26 in Rhody posted on 08/02/2022

The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) will hold a drop-in event from 2-4 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 11 at the Mt. Hood Foods Grocery Store parking lot, 73265 Hwy. 26 in Rhododendron, to get community feedback on transportation on Hwy. 26 in Rhododendron.

The event is part of ODOT’s U.S. 26 Rhododendron Refinement Plan, a project launched in April to address transportation safety, access and connectivity issues in the community. The plan’s goals include identifying the appropriate number of highway lanes, identifying the safest locations for pedestrians to cross Hwy. 26, evaluate entry and exit points for destinations and businesses, evaluate bus stop locations and other improvements, such as sidewalks, bicycle lanes and dedicated driveways.

The plan, which builds upon concepts developed in the Rhododendron Main Street Redevelopment Concept Plan, is in the planning phase, with final street design elements and a concept plan expected to be complete in early 2023.

Sandra Hikari, ODOT Major Projects Planner, noted that an online open house for the project will likely take place in October, but the August drop-in event offers an informal opportunity for people to share their thoughts.

“This is a way to get folks who don’t have as much of an online presence,” she added.

Hikari also noted that ODOT is currently performing technical analysis, traffic counts, looking at traffic impacts of existing conditions and looking at highway lane configurations from a safety standpoint on the section of Hwy. 26 in Rhododendron, approximately between Road 10 and Road 20. ODOT has listed the funding for developing the plan to be $150,000.

The community’s desire for improvements to the highway was previously documented by the Rhody Rising committee of the Rhododendron Community Planning Organization (CPO), which is also considering the future development of buildings and the community.

The Rhody Rising committee is not affiliated with the ODOT effort.

Mike Miskowicz, CPO President, noted that the Rhody Rising committee is currently in a holding pattern.

The CPO will hold its next meeting from 10:30 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Sept. 10 at the Mt. Hood Village RV Resort, 65000 Hwy. 26 in Welches.

For more information on the ODOT refinement plan, visit TinyURL.com/US26RhodyRefinement.

By Garth Guibord/MT





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