Oregon City Council last week followed the recommendation of its drainage, roads, buildings, and lands committee and approved spending $50,000 for advance notification lights on Otter Creek Road at Millard Avenue and Corduroy Road that would activate when the Norfolk Southern crossing between the two streets is blocked.
Councilman Jerry Peach raised the subject at the March 10 council meeting and the lights are meant to improve public safety and motorist convenience.
At the committee meeting before the regular council meeting, fire Chief Paul Mullen said the flashing-blue lights would improve turnout times for his firefighters at station 3 on Bayshore Road.
The chief called the city’s other lights, on Pickle Road at Wheeling Street and Woodville Road, a “wonderful asset” for his crews responding to station 2, on Wheeling, for an alarm. Those lights were installed in 2002.
The Otter Creek crossing often is blocked by Norfolk Southern trains entering, leaving, or switching cars at Homestead Yard to the east and trains backed up at Ironville Junction to the west.
Service Director Paul Roman said the average daily vehicle traffic between Corduroy and York Street, north of the crossing, is 1,600.
When Councilman Tim Zale questioned the need for a light at Millard, noting that motorists could take an alternate route, Mr. Roman said omitting those lights would not save much money. He said that Norfolk Southern tended to be conservative in its quotes and costs could be significantly less.
Norfolk Southern is to be paid $10,000 for preliminary engineering and $25,000 for railroad interconnect circuitry construction. City-installed equipment, including poles for mounting lights, are to cost $15,000.
Oregon Administrator Mike Beazley said the funds would be from the city’s capital improvements and streets fund.
In other business, council approved paying Arcadis U.S. Inc. an extra $295,000 for an engineering study of the use of ozone in the the treatment of Oregon’s municipal water as added protection against toxic compounds generated by algae.
The city had a $1.5 million contract with Arcadis for the design of a high-service pump replacement and raw water improvements for its water treatment plant.
Oregon’s water stayed safe to drink during the algae bloom this year even though it is taken from Lake Erie. Toledo declared a water emergency Aug. 2-4.
Contact Carl Ryan at: email@example.com or 419-724-6095.