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Oregon company wins Sunrise Corridor contract

Kerr Contractors of Woodburn, OR has won the contract to build the first phase of the Sunrise JTA Project that will ease traffic congestion, improve safety and strengthen the climate for new jobs in the OR 212/224 corridor.

The $130 million Sunrise JTA Project will get started this summer and will include construction of the first new highway in the Portland area in decades.

JTA, the Jobs and Transportation Act, is a funding plan adopted by the 2009 Oregon Legislature to improve and upgrade the state’s transportation system. About $100 million of the cost of the Sunrise Corridor, which runs through the Clackamas Industrial Area, will come from funds generated by the JTA.

Major project elements include:
• A new two-lane limited access highway -- one lane in each direction - from the Milwaukie Expressway (OR 224) at Interstate 205 to Southeast 122nd Avenue at OR 212/224.
• A new Interstate 205 overcrossing that will connect SE 82nd Drive and SE 82nd Avenue.
• Improvements to the intersection of SE 122nd Avenue and OR 212/224.
• Better bicycle and pedestrian accommodations.
• Major upgrades including improved traffic signals, signs, striping, drainage and water quality.

The Clackamas Industrial Area is home to one of the state’s busiest and most critical freight distribution centers. Community development and industrial expansion in the Sunrise Corridor are expected to grow significantly but today, the existing OR 212/224 corridor cannot handle the increased demand.

The Sunrise JTA Project will:
• Protect current jobs and encourage job growth by enhancing access and improve travel. times between the Clackamas Industrial District and I-205.
• Reduce the annual delay for motorists by 980,000 hours.
• Reduce the cost of congestion per year by $22.5 million.
• Provide an alternative route to and from areas east of SE 122nd Avenue.
• Attract about 19,600 daily users onto the new roadway from area roads.
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• Provide significant congestion relief on OR 212/224, I-205 and SE 82nd Drive.
• Enhance the bicycle and pedestrian environment.

Reaction to the Wednesday announcement was immediate.

“This is an exciting project that has been many years in the making. It will relieve traffic congestion along key roadways in Clackamas County and will promote job growth and retention,” said Clackamas County Commissioner Paul Savas. “These critical infrastructure improvements will increase motorist safety and allow for more efficient movement of trucks and vehicles through that area.”

“This project is absolutely critical to the 1,000 Fred Meyer employees and contractors in the Clackamas Industrial Area,” said Melinda Merrill, public affairs director for Fred Meyer. “This company moves more than 1,500 trucks in and out of our distribution center every day. We have worked hard over the last few years to make this project happen because we want to remain a vital part of the community for our employees, our contactors and for the neighborhood.”

“Everyone at Kerr Contractors is enormously pleased to be a part of this project,” said Tim Kerr, company vice president. “We look forward to taking part in an effort to improve the jobs climate in Clackamas County and will work together with ODOT to minimize impacts for the traveling public.”

“This project will significantly improve regional economic competitiveness,” said David Kelly, president and CEO of the North Clackamas County Chamber of Commerce, which represents about 500 members with 26,500 employees. “The Chamber has supported the general concept of this project for many years and looks forward to its creating better access to this vital industrial district.”

“It’s wonderful to see the funding allocated through the Jobs and Transportation Act doing exactly what our community needs - creating jobs and building infrastructure to support future economic growth,” state Sen. Chuck Thomsen.

“This project will accelerate the Clackamas economy, both for the 5,900 people working there today and for the many jobs it will attract in the coming years,” said state Rep. Brent Barton. “The project means jobs, improved freight access, and safer and more efficient access for everyone.”

“It's great to see this project moving forward on time, under budget, and with an Oregon company at the lead,” said Rep. Shemia Fagan. “The Sunrise project will bring much needed construction jobs, in addition to the long-term jobs that will be created through improved freight mobility and a thriving industrial district. I'm glad to see all the stakeholders working together on this and I will continue my work to protect the funding source for this important project.”

“We’re pleased to achieve this milestone,” said ODOT Region 1 Manager Jason Tell. “Our state lawmakers have shown great trust in ODOT by approving the JTA. We are repaying that confidence by making sure these funds are spent on time, on budget and in ways that will improve the lives of Oregonians.”

Construction of the Sunrise JTA Project should be complete in late 2015.

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