A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

New phase starting in riverfront project

Written February 25th, 2024 by Hasso Hering

Crew members were hard at work Sunday on the Water Avenue railroad track at the Thurston Street crossing.

Construction work on the Water Avenue rail line does not stop on weekends, as I could not help but notice on my regular bike route Sunday afternoon.

A crew from the Portland & Western Railroad’s contractor, Stacy Witbeck, was working this windy February day on the track at the Thurston Street crossing.

The crossing is one of several being improved as part of the $21.5 million Waterfront Project of the Central Albany Revitalization Area or CARA.

The street intersection at Thurston and Water has already been reconstructed with curbs and brick pavers. The track had to be raised in order to be level with the new pavement.

Another phase of the Waterfront Project is about to start.

The City of Albany anounced on social media that three blocks of Water Avenue, between Baker and Jackson streets, will be closed to traffic starting Monday.

This is so K&E Excavating, the main contractor on the Waterfront Project, can make “road improvements as part of the … Waterfront Streetscape Project,” the city said.

The announcement didn’t specify the “road improvements.” But the published design of the Waterfront Project calls for a “greenstreet” treatment, including a sidewalk, trees and landscaping on the south side of the street.

The design also shows the roadway to be narrowed for a stretch between Parr Lumber on the south side and the railroad track on the other side, in front of the Wheelhouse building.

In addition, there will be a new pedestrian crossing across the track at Montgomery Street, and the Montgomery intersection will be rebuilt.

The street closure will last until April 30, according to the city announcement. That section of Water Avenue is part of my bike route, so for a couple of months I’ll be using the Dave Clark Path instead. (hh)

From here, at Baker Street, to Jackson Street three blocks away, Water Avenue will be closed starting Monday.

5 responses to “New phase starting in riverfront project”

  1. Cap B. says:

    Thanks, Hasso, for the info. I won’t use Water St. and turn at the old brick building that used to be Marti Calson’s Costume Shop upon my leaving The Sr. Center (still refusing to call it the Community Center!). I’ll refrain from moaning about the 21.5 million dollars of taxpayer’s money that the damned CARA and Council are wasting on Water Street. Oops, just moaned about it while saying I wasn’t going to. Hard to not mention it, since it is so damned stupid.

  2. Ms Deb says:

    I love the improvements on Water Street. Infrastructure has been neglected way too long, jobs and services in the area will benefit way past April 30th.

    • Cap B. says:

      What about the repairs to the “infrastructure” of the rest of Albany….most streets look like World War III has hit them.

  3. Trey D says:

    They were working last Saturday evening as late as 11pm. I asked them if they had a permit since they were in violation of Albany municipal code 7.08.050(d). I didn’t get a straight answer and so I reported them to the Albany Police Department. It has been a nightmare living close to Water Avenue for the past year!

  4. Snailracer says:

    Great coverage, Hasso. Please advise how much of the $21.5 Million was actually approved by a Marxist majority of city councilors? Albany taxpayers deserve to know that little fact, so thanks in advance.


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