Century Boulevard Extension Frequently Asked Questions

Learn more about the Century Boulevard Extension by reading the questions and answers below.

Q: How will this project improve livability? 

A: The new road connection will reduce vehicle miles traveled, which impacts greenhouse gas emissions. Residents living south of Main Street currently travel a significant distance to reach a north/south connection (Brookwood Parkway or Cornelius Pass Road).

It will also provide a much needed bicycle connection to Main Street, and decrease travel time for those who walk their bikes through Noble Woods.

Q: What will the traffic impact be when the extension opens?

A: Models project that traffic volumes on Century Boulevard, between Main Street and Cornell Road, will increase by 15-20% when the bridge opens. This is about one additional vehicle per minute in each direction.

When South Hillsboro is fully built, the projected increase of traffic on this section of road is expected to be 25-30% more than current volume, or about two additional vehicles per minute in each direction.

Q: Will a crosswalk be available to Noble Woods Park entrance on SE Century Boulevard?

A: The impacts to the park entrance are being coordinated with the City of Hillsboro Parks & Recreation Department.

A Rapidly Flashing Beacon will not be installed as part of this project. The City will monitor the pedestrian counts at this location.

Q: What will the noise impact be?

A: A noise study will be conducted to determine expected noise impacts.

Q: Will there be light pollution?

A: The City of Hillsboro has taken steps toward dark-sky compliance. The LED lights will be at a frequency that will not disturb nocturnal animals. The technology used will allow the City to reduce the lighting levels during lower activity periods.

Q: How many trees will be removed? Is any mitigation proposed?

A: A total of 47 trees  are expected to be impacted by the project:

  • 12 trees between 6-12 inches in diameter.
  • 30 trees between 12-24 inches in diameter.
  • 5 trees larger that 24 inches in diameter.

The impact is being coordinated with the City of Hillsboro Parks & Recreation Department, as well as determining planting to be added within the park boundary along the road extension. The project goal is plant at least 47 trees.

Q: Is the project impacting wetlands?

A: A wetland survey has been conducted and sent to the Department of State Lands for review. There is a possibility that the project may not impact any wetlands, but it could have minimal wetland impacts.

Any impacts will be mitigated within the existing drainage basin.

Q: Are there impacts to the floodplain?

A: The project is conducting the necessary studies to ensure no material is placed within the floodplain.

Q: What will be in place to deter homeless individuals from camping under the new bridge?

A: Possible deterrents are being investigated.

Q: What will be built on the vacant lot on SE Century Boulevard?

A: Please contact the City of Hillsboro Community Development Department. Development of that parcel is unrelated to the road project. For more information, contact Planning by calling 503-681-6153 or visiting the city of Hillsboro's Planning Department.

Q: Will the project effect the function of the light-rail and Cherry Drive intersections with Century Boulevard?

A: Traffic signals on Century Boulevard at Cherry Drive and at the light-rail crossing

The traffic signals on Century Boulevard at the light-rail crossing and at Cherry Drive are a single complex traffic signal, even though the signal poles are physically separate. The traffic lights at these locations are designed to respond together to pedestrians, trains and vehicles at both the light-rail crossing and at Cherry Drive. The traffic signals are timed this way to prevent safety issues. such as vehicles stopped on tracks or in the middle of Cherry Drive when the signal changes.

Earlier in 2019, the City installed a new computer and software to allow for more complex timing. The timing was updated to improve traffic flow for vehicles and pedestrians. This signal is continuously monitored and adjusted for optimal timing and the City will be make the necessary modifications with any future changes in traffic volume.

The City is aware that when two trains cross Century Boulevard in a short period of time, vehicle backup occurs. The City of Hillsboro is continuing to work with TriMet to minimize this backup while maintaining safety for all users.

Roadway design and commute traffic

Engineering studies found that the proposed three-lane road can handle the expected traffic increase. Traffic signals will be continual monitored to maintain the flow of traffic along Century Boulevard.

Q: Is the County or City planning other improvements for north-south traffic?

A: The City of Hillsboro and Washington County are making strategic plans and investments along Cornelius Pass Road and Brookwood Avenue to encourage commuter traffic to use these roads.

Q: Will this project bring more traffic and make the crossing Century Boulevard more difficult? Is the City planning any crossing enhancements for pedestrians?

A: The City of Hillsboro must follow federal rules and state laws when determining where to install traffic lights and crossing enhancements, such as marked crosswalks and Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFBs).

Whenever this type of project is considered an engineering study is completed to determine if the project will improve safety. Learn more by reading the Crosswalk and Pedestrian Safety Guide at Hillsboro-Oregon.gov/PublicWorks.

The City has recently completed engineering studies at a number of locations along Century Boulevard to determine if installing crossing enhancements or a traffic signal would comply with the rules.

A new signal will be installed as part of the Century Boulevard Extension Project at the SE Lois Street and Century Boulevard intersection.
The intersection of Century Boulevard and Borwick Street will be studied for pedestrian enhancements as part of the Century Boulevard Extension Project.
The intersection of SE Imlay and Tualatin Valley Highway has been studied and the City is in discussions with the Oregon Department of Transportation regarding a future traffic signal installation. This signal will provide an additional point for community members to access and exit the neighborhood, reducing the need for some travelers to use Century Boulevard.

Intersections studied, but currently not meeting the requirements for enhancements are:

  • NE Dogwood Street
  • NE Oelrich Street
  • SE Francis Street

NE Dogwood Street, NE Oelrich Street and SE Francis Street will continue to be monitored. If conditions change, improvements will be are prioritized alongside other locations throughout the City. In the meantime, the City will be looking for opportunities to make smart investments at these intersections so that if a crossing is warranted it is easy to install the equipment.

Q: Will neighborhood traffic increase? When will sidewalks be built in the Orenco Townsite Area?

A: The City of Hillsboro is currently developing a Transportation System Plan Update. In early 2019, the City will be looking for community input on how to prioritize sidewalk and bicycle projects throughout the City. Public input opportunities will be posted at Hillsboro-Oregon.gov/TSP.

It is important to note that the Orenco Townsite Area falls within the Orenco Station Community Planning Area. This means that there are Orenco community-specific development regulations and design standards that were developed with involvement of community members. The purpose of the regulations and standards is to conserve the historical and cultural significance of the area of the original community of Orenco preserving, and restoring the plat plan and site layout of the original 1908 community and its 1911 addition.

Each street, including the pedestrian space along them, must conform to the regulations and standards within this plan. These standards outline roadway widths, sidewalks, and other roadway characteristics. The City of Hillsboro’s Community Development Department will be reviewing these regulations in the near future and there will be opportunities for community input through that process. For more information, contact Planning by calling 503-681-6153 or visiting the city of Hillsboro's Planning Department.

Q: Is the City working with the schools in increase safety for students who walk?

A: The City partners with the Hillsboro School District on a program called Safe Routes to School (SRTS). The goal of this program is to create safe, convenient and fun ways for youth to walk and roll (scooter, skateboard or bus) to and from school in the community. This program follows the nationally recognized “6 E’s” SRTS framework. The 6 E’s are:

  • Equity
  • Education
  • Encouragement
  • Enforcement
  • Engineering
  • Evaluation

The goal of the SRTS program is to develop a SRTS program at each elementary and middle school in Hillsboro. The first step to developing a new program is to receive approval from the principal and identify a parent stakeholder group. The City of Hillsboro currently has capacity to develop 2-3 action plans per school year. New plan requests are noted and developed in the order they are received.

In the 2018-19 school year, the SRTS program provided Brown Middle School with materials to teach their students about safe walking and rolling to school. All students learned these materials over two advisory class sessions. The City is looking forward to partnering with Brown Middle School to develop a comprehensive SRTS action plan in 2020.

In Spring 2019, the City of Hillsboro had preliminary discussions regarding starting a program at Imlay Elementary, with a SRTS program proposed during the 2020-21 school year. Learn more at Hillsboro-Oregon.gov/SRTS.

Q: Are there plans for transit service along Century Boulevard?

A: The City of Hillsboro is working with TriMet to develop a plan to expand transit service in Hillsboro. Beginning March 2021, a TriMet bus route will connect South Hillsboro with locations north.

The route will travel from South Hillsboro via:

Cornelius Pass Road (Tualatin Valley Highway to Main Street)
Main Street (Cornelius Pass Road to Century Boulevard) and
Century Boulevard (Main Street to Evergreen Parkway).
 

Q: Will more traffic lanes be added in the future?

A: The current and proposed TSP does not call for any additional lanes. This would not preclude the addition of auxiliary lanes (left turn, right turn lanes, etc) at signalized intersection in the future to improve flow through the at the traffic signal.