Over recent decades, the City of Hillsboro and Washington County have been working to increase transportation grid connectivity and accommodate growing traffic volume and multiple modes of personal transport. Ensuring the area’s roadway designs are as safe as they can be is also a goal. This effort is ongoing and the governmental bodies boast a slate of civil engineering plans, both current and in-the-works. One of the projects now in planning stages is particularly eye-catching because it will provide Hillsboro with a new bridge.
Ever since the eastern reaches of the city evolved from agricultural land and sparsely-populated suburbia into the denser neighborhoods seen today, the lack of a Century Boulevard bridge just south of E. Main Street has been an obstacle to north/south crosstown mobility in this part of Hillsboro. You see, Century Boulevard is intended to offer a continuous transportation arterial stretching from the Gordon Faber Recreation Complex on the north (next to Highway 26) all the way into the South Hillsboro real estate developments now under construction beyond Tualatin Valley Highway. The course of Rock Creek has kept the thoroughfare’s segments disconnected, though.
The planned bridge will carry a three-lane street (one travel lane in each direction and a center turn lane) between E. Main Street and SE Lois Street. South of the bridge, the new, connecting segment of Century Boulevard will follow a realigned path as it approaches its intersection with Lois. Additional components of the new street will be sidewalks and raised bicycle lanes on both sides of the roadway, street lighting, and improved storm drainage. The Century Boulevard/Lois Street intersection will be signalized.
Construction is expected to begin in spring 2021 and should take about 18 months to complete (schedule is subject to change). The project budget is $16.2 million, which includes right-of-way acquisition, and is funded by Washington County’s Major Streets Transportation Improvement Program (MSTIP) 3e.