170th Avenue - Sustainable Project Improvement
The 170th Avenue project, completed in 2003, received Project of the Year recognition from the Women's Transportation Seminar. The original project scope was delivering an improved arterial from TV Highway south to Rigert. Doing that would have made a significant improvement for traffic congestion and providing bike lanes and sidewalks, but we didn’t stop there.
The homes along 170th experienced annual flooding and property damage caused by inadequate design criteria when developed in the 1960’s – before we stopped undergrounding streams. We recognized that taking care of storm water along the new roadway could also correct a flood hazard and nuisance and reconstruct a quality natural habitat. It added cost to the project, but it was the right thing to do. We approached Clean Water Services and worked out a deal for the resurrection of the stream.
The result: relief to property owners who annually experienced flood damage, and a restored “Healthy Stream” with vegetated buffer and improved wildlife habitat. We worked closely with regulatory agencies to over-size the box culverts to provide passage for wildlife. The cost to provide this passage was small, but the significance to the native wildlife is huge. Some culverts are even large enough for deer to walk through safely.
In addition, we worked closely with the Beaverton School District to improve access to Cooper Mountain Elementary School. Located at the top of a hill, the school had poor and unsafe access to 170th. We dramatically improved their school access, increased parking capacity, and improved safety. This sustainable decision saves fuel for parents and buses and has enhanced safety.