HASSO HERING

A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Exploring near new Burkhart Creek bridge

Written January 18th, 2023 by Hasso Hering

The new bridge on Timber Ridge Street over Burkhart Creek on Jan. 10, 2023. In the background, the North Pointe Apartments now being completed.

Largely out of sight from most of Albany, a key piece of a planned north-south street connection was completed last year on the east side of Interstate 5.

City transportation plans, including the East Albany Plan still being written, call for Timber Ridge Street to go all the way from Knox Butte south to Highway 20.

That required bridging Burkhart Creek.

A few years ago, city engineers and the council considered forming a local improvement district to pay for building the bridge. But in the end, housing developers north and south of the creek got together and built it privately.

“Private construction is always less expensive than public construction due to prevailing wage requirement and administration costs,” said Ron Irish, the city’s transportation systems analyst. “The developers weren’t necessarily happy about the situation, but (fortunately for everyone involved, I think) decided private construction was better than public, negotiated a cost sharing agreement between themselves, and built the bridge.”

The concrete bridge is nearly complete, as far as I could see when the bike and I went across it on Jan. 10.

I had ridden out Knox Butte Road to see if the builders had finished the apartment complex at 225 Timber Ridge Street, south of the roundabout on Knox Butte.

Construction is not complete, I found. It’s a huge complex, with 12 three-story buildings, 264 units, and numerous related facilities including a pool.

While some of the buildings are still under construction, the first apartments are ready and rented. If you google North Pointe Apartments, you’ll learn they range in size from 728 to 1,190 square feet and rent for between $1,500 and $2,190.

(When construction started, the place was called Brandis Meadows Apartments, but obviously the name has been changed. There’s already a North Pointe development in North Albany, but I guess they didn’t copyright the name.)

As the new apartments demonstrate, that area of former farm fields on Burkhart Creek is rapidly developing.

North of the bridge, there are the North Pointe buildings east of Timber Ridge Street. On the west side of the street, there will be a 54-lot town home subdivision.

South of the bridge, there’s a phased subdivision of 169 residential lots. On 121 of the lots, construction started in 2019. On 48 lots closer to the creek, building had not yet started, as near as I could tell from the bridge.

While Timber Ridge Street is planned to be extended south to Highway 20, the timing depends on how soon the land along its route is annexed by the city and then developed.

Even now, though, you can use the bridge to reach points south by ziz-zagging through the Brandis Meadows subdivision streets to reach Goldfish Farm Road.

If you’re interested, take a drive or a bike ride through that area before it’s all built up. (hh)

Looking south from the bridge toward subdivision land and finished streets that have no houses yet.





2 responses to “Exploring near new Burkhart Creek bridge”

  1. Amy Felmley says:

    While the bridge is cool, I have GREAT concern for kids coming and going to school that cross at the circle. I have seen traffic increase significantly as the apartments are being occupied and imagine it will be very much more as the N-S route opens up. Drivers are not careful and there is rarely a safety person to stop traffic. I don’t know who decides/staffs traffic safety near schools but they need to get going and take care of our kids!

  2. Carole D says:

    For one thing you can’t drive across that bridge yet, it’s blocked off as well as both streets on the other sides are blocked from traffic. I ride thru there on my bike, but no cars, yet. The traffic on Knox Butte is something else again. I was standing at the crosswalk by the round about and 7 cars one right after the other failed to stop and let me cross that road. I’ve watched those kids dash out there on their bikes in front of cars and I am totally surprised that someone hasn’t been hit yet at either one of those crosswalks….

 

 
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