A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Queen Avenue closure to last longer

Written October 28th, 2023 by Hasso Hering

The water line construction site on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2023. The rail crossing is in the background.

The section of Queen Avenue from Pacific Boulevard to Ferry Street, and across four railroad tracks, will likely remain closed through November.

That’s the word from Albany City Manager Peter Troedsson, who gave an update on the road closure in his weekly report to the city council Friday.

Queen east of Pacific (or Highway 99E) has been closed since the second week of September for construction of a new water line. The contractor is K&E Excavating of Salem, which during the summer rebuilt Queen Avenue from Pacific west to the city limit.

K&E also is the main contractor for the Albany Waterfront Project, the biggest part of which is rebuilding Monteith Riverpark. That work is expected to be finished next year.

Here’s what Troedsson told the council about the extended closure of Queen across the railroad tracks:

‘The water line is being extended under the rail crossing located between 99E and Ferry St using the jack and bore construction method since we cannot trench across the railroad tracks. (The jack and bore is a trenchless utility installation method used when the utility needs to be installed across a roadway or railway that cannot be shut down and the normal open cut trench installation method cannot be used.) Two railroads operate on this railroad crossing, Union Pacific and Portland & Western. Each railroad requires their own separate permits, and each railroad requires that their own railroad flaggers be on site while the jack and bore construction is taking place. K&E Excavating has had a difficult time coordinating a schedule where the two different railroad flagging crews can be onsite at the same time, resulting in the delay to the work schedule and an extension of the road closure.  The jack and bore is scheduled to start on November 13, and based on the current schedule from Union Pacific and Portland and Western, we anticipate opening the road by the end of November.”

People can get through the closed section on bikes and on foot. For vehicles, there’s a detour in both directions, of course.

The upside of the closure and the detour is that now, motorists don’t face long waits at the crossing when the Portland & Western builds trains in the Albany yard. (hh)

7 responses to “Queen Avenue closure to last longer”

  1. Rick says:

    Ya the railroad is fu**ing around because it doesn’t hurt thier traffic they could care less about the motorist being inconvenienced …the railroads should be fined every day they delay the process

    • Troy says:

      Agree its a mess and I live right ny it and construction company says rail road flagging guards there hasn’t been any rail road flaggers there ever we need a over pass there

  2. Richard Vannice says:

    I am no more excited about the delays and rough crossing of the tracks but we need to look at past history.
    Long before any of us were born and the nation was growing the government gave the railroads sections of land to build on. It became private property and still is.
    None of us would even think about allowing someone to come on to, or as in this case, under, our property so something could be built.
    It does seem though that the railroads could be less stiff necked and work more cooperatively to provide traffic directing crews.

  3. T M says:

    I still think we should get a new crossing somewhere between queen street and 34th. Then they can close the queen street crossing permanently for all I care.

    • Jeremy Clement says:

      29th has a good setup but who’s gonna pay for it? All out tax money is being sent overseas.

  4. R M says:

    So uh, any update on this? Because the 13th has come and gone and they definitely didn’t resume work on it. In fact all they’ve done is remove all of their equipment.


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