In 2018, Public Works staff held a public meeting to discuss the necessary upgrades to make the roads safer and to better handle the heavy traffic coming into the community from an industrial rock barging operation. The community rejected the County’s initial plans, and after hearing the community’s concerns regarding safety and livability, staff devised a new plan that would accomplish their request of creating a new road outside of the residential neighborhood. On February 15th. Public Works initiated a public meeting at the Westport Community Church that was attended by approximately 40 residents, Commissioner Bangs and Assistant County Manager Monica Steele, in order to update the community on the County’s plans to provide a new route outside of the residential neighborhood as per their previous request. Public Works provided the update and answered many questions from the community and noted ideas from the public to continue to investigate. As staff answers these questions they are placed on the County Website under “Westport Improvement FAQ” s. Following the meeting staff asked the community to provide additional feedback by completing a survey to gather information on how the public feels about the revised County plans. The community response can be accomplished by sending back the questionnaire cards provided at the meeting or by replying on-line on the County website.
Prior to the community meeting on February 15th, County staff met with ODOT to make sure the proposed access from Hwy. 30 would be granted should property acquisition become a reality. We were told in that meeting the access would be granted. County staff also met with ODOT Rail and P&W Railroad personnel to make sure a new crossing would be allowed if we were to close the Westport Ferry Road crossing. They acknowledged closing one to open one in this instance would work, however, it could not be utilized as a emergency or pedestrian crossing. We have contacted the railroad’s civil engineer in order to know what data needs to be collected for the railroad design and have been collecting the information he’ll need. Should the road go from a planning stage to design stage, the railroad’s engineer will have to be hired by the County to facilitate the design.