A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

In NA, a country lane’s upgrade

Written May 26th, 2017 by Hasso Hering

This end of Crocker Lane, empty at mid-morning Thursday, will be transformed into a city street this summer.

The price has gone up, but owners in the North Creek Subdivision still won’t have to pay for turning part of Crocker Lane in North Albany from a county road into a city street.

Years ago, the prospective developer of North Creek had signed waivers obligating future homeowners to pay if and when Crocker was improved. When this came up in 2015, 58 homeowners found themselves facing unexpected future assessments of several thousand dollars each. But the city public works staff worked out an agreement for a “local improvement district” that reduced their obligations to zero.

At the time, the Crocker project was estimated to cost under $1.3 million. By this year, the city engineers’ estimate had risen to $1.6 million. And this week, the Albany City Council awarded a construction contract to Carter & Company of Salem, the low bidder, in the amount of $1,861,694. There were three other bidders. Total estimated project costs (including design, inspection, contingencies and so forth) now total $2.1 million.

The local improvement district approved in April 2015 provided for the project costs to be shared by Hayden Homes, which built houses in North Creek; Myles Breadner, the developer of a new subdivision to the north; Benton County, and the city. (Breadner also donated about 10 wooded acres of his property to Benton County, which is managing it as a natural area.) What about the now higher cost? Says Jeff Blaine, public works director for engineering: “Establishment of the LID was based on the city covering any overruns. That is still the plan.”

The road project calls for reconstruction of about 2,100 feet of Crocker Lane from Valley View Drive to Meadow Wood Drive, including curbs, sidewalks and storm drains, along with a new water main of the same length. The contractor and city staff will meet next week, and construction activity is expected to start the middle of June.

When you look at this tranquil country road, complete with wide shoulders and roadside ditches to handle runoff, you wonder why it’s necessary to turn it into a city street at great expense. But then again, planners and engineers look at this from a different angle and with the future in mind. (hh)


10 responses to “In NA, a country lane’s upgrade”

  1. Pete says:

    It’s anything but tranquil anymore!

  2. John Hartman says:

    Rumor has it that Walmart is “thinking seriously” about a presence in North Albany. With the new surge in middle-to-low income housing pushing up against the heretofore Un-mussed North Albanitstas, and the inevitable neighborhood devaluation caused by the mere presence of Wally World, the last thing anyone west of the river needs to worry about is whether a roundabout or a semaphore. Women and children first!

    • David Boone says:

      Good Lord! You just ruined my day. It wasn’t that great to begin with…

    • Hasso Hering says:

      West of the river? You must be thinking of Corvallis.

      • hj.anony1 says:

        Just a “JH sarcasm” alert!!! Worry not. No Wal-Mart or the silly Wal-Mart grocery store like Corvallis has will be descending upon NA. Beside cheer up! You see this breaking news today? Kushner wanted back channel comm with the Russians. And didn’t disclose on security form. That’s a felony folks. Espionage!!!

    • centrist says:

      Ahhh, scuttlebutt from an unknown source wit a large helping of FUD
      Shame, shame………..

  3. Pat says:

    So what happens between Meadow Wood and Gibson Hill?

    • Hasso Hering says:

      Nothing for now. This is because the project is the result of the city having wanted to act before waivers of remonstrances to the formation of a local improvement district expired. Those waivers were signed by subdividers or land use applicants along the stretch of Crocker at issue. No developments and thus no waivers along the southern segment of the road. And thus no urge to do anything. (hh)


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