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Over the past few months, work crews have been busy completing a $3.2 million project along Gable Road in St. Helens.

Columbia County assistant public works director Tristan Wood said the project is designed for safety improvements along Gable Road from Highway 30 to Columbia Blvd. in St Helens.

“This is to improve access to the high school from the area neighborhoods, adding sidewalks and bike lanes along the roadway,” he said.

Wood said the project process began in 2010 after transportation officials looked at walkway issues for residents along Gable Road.

“A resident parking his trailer along the roadway and a communication pole placed 18” off the edge of the roadway made walking and passage to and from the school for students a safety hazard,” Wood said.

Adding curbs, sidewalks and bike lanes increased the roadway surface, according to Wood, and because of that drainage along the route had to be improved.

“During engineering we heard from a lot of neighbors about flooding issues, lack of drainage and the County and City wanted to address that during this project and not make it worse,” he said. “Most of the project has been improving and adding drainage to the area.”

Wood said that work meant a lot of excavation through rock to get lowered drain lines, adding catch basins and also adding drain lines for property owners along the project, which has improved the drainage issues.

According to Wood, the Gable Road Improvement Project should wrap up in June with final paving, weather dependent, and tree planting will need to be done this fall.

The 3.2 million is funded through a combination of Oregon Department of Transportation enhance funding grants, Safe Route to School funds, and the City of St. Helens and Columbia County both contributing heavily to the project through System Development Charges from area developments to build the project. Scappoose-based TFT Construction is the contractor for the project.

“Everyone in the neighborhood has been so patient and good to the contractors, the flaggers and the workers and I just really appreciate it,” Wood said.

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