A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Two Albany ODOT projects: Why the delay

Written August 6th, 2022 by Hasso Hering

Behind the old ones, new signals have been installed on Santiam at Waverly and wait to be activated. Photo was taken Saturday.

Work on two highway safety projects in Albany seems to have stalled. The reason will sound familiar.

Here’s what a reader asked this week: “Do you think you could find out why there is the lengthy work stoppage on the ODOT projects on Pacific & Airport Way and Waverly & Santiam?  Sure would appreciate it.”

The reference was to the ODOT projects to replace traffic signals and make other changes both on Santiam Highway and on Pacific Boulevard at Airport Road.

As usual with questions for ODOT, I turned to Angela Beers-Seydel, the agency’s Eugene-based public information officer for this area.

“Supply chain issues have slowed us down,” she replied via email. “Right now signal cabinets are taking a long time to get. That’s a new issue. We try to allow plenty of time to get materials, but like for everyone else, getting some things has been unpredictable lately.”

Signal cabinets are what the term implies, apparently: the boxes that hold the electronics that make traffic lights work.

This — a delay in delivery of a signal controller cabinet — was also the problem that held up completion of traffic lights on Gibson Hill Road at Crocker Lane in North Albany in the fall of 2020. The blame in that case fell on supply shortages caused by Covid.

As for the ODOT projects on Santiam and Pacific, Beers-Seydel said, “There will be some minor work next week, and a little more the week after. We’ll get it finished up once we get the signal cabinets.”

On Santiam, in addition to the signal replacements, the project called for installation of four sections of traffic separators to prevent left turns, as well as a new signal structure at Ninth and Geary. If these have been done, I haven’t noticed them.

At Airport and Pacific, in addition to the new lights, there is to be a new left-turn lane from Airport Road. Work on the street has yet to be completed. (hh)

On Airport Road Saturday, looking toward the intersection with Pacific Boulevard.

9 responses to “Two Albany ODOT projects: Why the delay”

  1. Bob Woods says:

    COVID had effects that none of us could have foreseen. China, and some other suppliers, shut down factories for months to deal with the infection. Multiple times.

    That’s no one’s fault. Nobody can actually see the future. But the current results are probably good for the US.

    A serious move is now in play to bring back manufacturing to the US. Computer chips are the most visible and important. But all kinds of production is likely coming back. The unit cost may be somewhat higher, but the production availability makes us stronger and more EFFICIENT.

    If you don’t think that US production and US jobs aren’t a good thing, then move to Hungary, and live under Viktor Orban of Hungary, the new dictatorial darling of the CPAC Radical Right.

    The fight for the preservation of our Constitution is now underway. Don’t sell out America because you want GOP white supremacy.

    • Gordon L. Shadle says:

      Your comment puts the reader into an old fashioned pinball machine – numerous noises as thoughts bounce randomly against rubber bumpers.

      From Covid to China to computer chips to Hungary to white supremacy.

      All to explain why ODOT is experiencing a delay in getting a simple controller cabinet.

      You need to take a walk, Bob. Clear your mind.

    • Rich Kellum says:

      Can’t have it both ways Bob, you folks of the far left screamed that Trump was Hateful when he wanted to put America first. You know Bob, bring manufacturing back to the USA>

      • Ray kopczynski says:

        A business here,, a business there… You may be talking about real money down the road. Not anytime soon though. And if those cabinets were/are so easy to mfg., why hasn’t some USA entrepreneur done them?

        • Rich Kellum says:

          Ray, you should know better than most about how Government contracts work, there was a specification made, a bid made and awarded, now………. that is the only thing that will fulfill the contract. The fact that I (and many others) could make something 3 times better is now irrelevant. Adaption is where small business shines, but Government regulations do not care about a good outcome, only rules.

          • Ray Kopczynski says:

            I totally agree that “we” are bound by rules. That’s how society functions. Don’t like it? Change the rules…

          • Rich Kellum says:

            No Ray, that is how a bureaucracy works

  2. MarK says:

    They should have learned their lesson about the delays (Gibson Hill, lighting across the bridge, etc.). Don’t do lots of demolition work until you have what you need to finish the job. How would people feel in a contractor tore off their roof and then came back and said, “It’ll be a 6-8 month delay for your new roof. Supply chain issues.”

  3. Rod Cutler says:

    Typical government operations!!


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