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Council to discuss Van Buren Bridge at work session

Council to discuss Van Buren Bridge at work session

Van Buren Bridge 05

A truck heads east on the Van Buren Bridge toward Linn County. The Corvallis City Council is scheduled to discuss plans for replacing the bridge at its Thursday work session.

Move it or lose it.

That is the conclusion that federal and state officials have reached about the Van Buren Bridge, which crosses the Willamette River at the Linn County-Benton County line.

Oregon Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Association officials met Oct. 1 and concluded that the best route to use in replacing the Van Buren Bridge is the alignment that the current bridge occupies.

Thus, the state-funded $69 million design-build project requires that the old bridge, which dates to 1913, must be moved.

The Corvallis City Council meets in a 4 p.m. work session Thursday at the Madison Avenue Meeting Room, 500 SW Madison Ave., to discuss the bridge. ODOT officials will be on hand. Because the meeting is a work session, no votes will be taken or decisions made.

“ODOT will not pursue keeping the bridge in the existing alignment,” reads the report from the transportation agency in the council packet for the meeting (see the website for the full text). Before ODOT and the feds met one of the options being considered was one in which the new bridge would join the current Van Buren and Harrison spans.

Now, the ball is in the city’s court. The city can decide to take over control of the old bridge or “ODOT will proceed with advertising the bridge for new ownership.”

The city faces a deadline of Oct. 31.

Also on the work session agenda is a continued review of city advisory boards and commissions. Councilors also discussed the topic at their July 18 and Aug. 22 work sessions.

Key goals of the project are to align with the city’s vision work; facilitate public participation; be efficient for staff to support; be effective for the council; and allow diverse views to exists with advisory boards.

In other meetings:

Monday

• The Albany Traffic Safety Commission meets at 10 a.m. in the Santiam Room at City Hall, 333 Broadalbin St. SW.

• The Benton County commissioners will meet with the county sheriff and district attorney to discuss projects and nongovernmental issues at noon in the county boardrooms, 204 NW Fifth St., Corvallis.

• The Benton County Board of Commissions will hold a discussion with applicants for positions on the Home, Opportunity, Planning and Equity executive committee at 1:30 p.m. in the county boardrooms, 205 NW Fifth St. in Corvallis.

• The Albany City Council meets in a work session at 2:45 p.m. in the Municipal Courtroom at City Hall, 333 Broadalbin St. SW, where they will hold an executive session on an employment issue.

• The Corvallis City Council meets at 6 p.m. at the downtown fire station, 400 NW Harrison Blvd. The meeting begins with a public hearing on a proposal for a storage facility on Northeast Walnut Boulevard. Also at the meeting, councilors are scheduled to adopt formal findings on their rejection of the Caldwell Farms annexation agreement and do a second reading of an ordinance that would allow Oregon State University to go forward with plans for a residence hall at the corner of Monroe Avenue and Ninth Street.

Tuesday

• The Linn County Board of Commissioners meets at 9:30 a.m. in Room 200 of the Linn County Courthouse, 300 Fourth Ave. SW in Albany.

• The Albany Arts Commission meets at 3:30 p.m. in the Calapooia Room at City Hall.

• The Linn Benton Lincoln Education Service District Board of Directors meets at 6 p.m. in the board room at 905 Fourth Ave. SE in Albany.

• The Corvallis Historic Resources Commission meets at 6:30 p.m. at the Madison room and will hold a public hearing on an application from Oregon State University to place signs and brackets at Gill Coliseum.

Wednesday

• The Corvallis Downtown Advisory Board meets at 5:30 p.m. at the Madison room.

• The Albany City Council meets at 7:15 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall. Councilors are scheduled to act on a resolution that would acquire a right of way that would led to a traffic signal at Crocker Lane Northwest and Gibson High Road.

Thursday

• The Corvallis Civic Beautification and Urban Forestry Department Advisory Committee meets at 9 a.m. at the Parks and Recreation Department, 1310 SW Avery Park Drive.

Contact reporter James Day at jim.day@gazettetimes.com or 541-812-6116. Follow at Twitter.com/jameshday or gazettetimes.com/blogs/jim-day.

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Here is an artist's rendering of what a replacement Van Buren Bridge might look like. The new Van Buren span is on the left and the Harrison B…

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