Improving safety and travel reliability
The OR 217 Auxiliary Lanes Project will improve safety and help prevent bottlenecks on a four-mile stretch of OR 217 between Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway and OR 99W. Adding new auxiliary lanes, or on-ramp to off-ramp connections, reduces merging slow-downs and gives drivers more time to make lane changes.
This means that drivers making local trips can avoid merging into highway traffic and instead use the new auxiliary lanes to reach their destinations. This also reduces bottlenecks for drivers already on the highway. See the project map below for more details about which interchanges will be connected by the new auxiliary lanes.
The project will also add a new frontage road, replace a major bridge structure and add strategic bicycle and pedestrian improvements.
OR 217 between Beaverton and Tigard has 10 interchanges in just over seven miles and some of the shortest merging spacing in the region. The interchange spacing, combined with 120,000 vehicles a day, leads to high crash rates and travel delays. The interchanges at Allen Boulevard and Denney Road are some of the worst bottleneck locations. This project will help minimize bottlenecks and help everyone on OR 217 get where they need to go.
Major elements of the OR 217 Auxiliary Lanes Project include:
- Adding southbound auxiliary lane from Allen Blvd to OR 99W.
- Adding northbound auxiliary lanes from OR 99W to Scholls Ferry Rd.
- Replacing the Allen Boulevard southbound on-ramp and the Denney Road southbound off-ramp with a new frontage road to allow drivers to more safely travel south from Allen Boulevard to Denney Road.
- Replacing the Hall Boulevard overpass between OR 99W and Pfaffle Street, including new sidewalks and bike lanes.
- Potential sound walls to reduce noise for project neighbors.
- Widening three ramps: the Denney Road southbound on-ramp, the Scholls Ferry northbound off-ramp and the OR 99W northbound off-ramp.
What is an auxiliary lane and how will they improve travel on OR 217?
Auxiliary lanes separate the slower vehicles entering or exiting the highway from higher speed vehicles continuing to drive along the highway. They allow for more stable flow of traffic at interchanges. ODOT expects the project to reduce the number of crashes in the area by separating the weaving and merging lane from the rest of the highway.
Example illustration of an auxiliary lane:
Not to scale: For illustrative purposes only.
For Southbound travelers:
- A fully-connected auxiliary lane from Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway to OR 99W will allow drivers to cross multiple interchanges without merging into OR 217 traffic.
- A new frontage road between Allen Boulevard and Denney Road allows drivers to bypass OR 217 entirely.
For Northbound travelers:
- A new auxiliary lane will connect OR 99W to Greenburg Road.
- A second auxiliary lane will continue past OR 99W all the way to Scholls Ferry Road, allowing drivers to cross multiple interchanges without merging into OR 217 traffic.
ODOT's recent noise study found that new sound walls could help reduce highway noise for project neighbors. Those residents who would benefit from a sound wall will have a say in whether new sound walls are built. Information about the decision process for sound walls will be shared in summer 2019.
Pedestrian and bicycle improvements
This project also includes targeted improvements to local bicycle and pedestrian routes, in partnership with City of Beaverton and Washington County, including:
- Extend Fanno Creek Trail along the east side of OR 217 up to Allen Boulevard. This connection completes the OR 217 parallel bike path network from OR 99W to Allen Boulevard.
- Widen sidewalk on north side of Denney Road from Fanno Creek Trail to SW 105th Avenue.
- Build sidewalks and bike lanes on Hall Boulevard from Cascade Avenue to Scholls Ferry Road. Construction will depend on funding availability.
We will keep you informed
ODOT is committed to keeping you informed during construction. We will share progress and respond to questions with tools including:
- Email newsletters
- Direct outreach to nearby neighborhoods and businesses
- Updates to www.tripcheck.com for lane closures once construction begins
- Website updates
OR 217 southbound Beaverton Hillsdale Highway to OR 99W and OR 217 northbound OR 99W to Scholls Ferry Road
Cost and Funding
These safety improvements are primarily funded by ODOT via the 2017 Keep Oregon Moving legislation. Read more about HB 2017.
Project benefits include:
- Preventing bottlenecks that cause congestion and crashes, which create delays for travelers and freight.
- Making local trips safer and easier for southbound drivers by adding a new frontage road to travel from Allen Boulevard to Denney Road.
- Enhancing local neighborhoods and expanding routes for pedestrians and people on bikes.
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