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The $11.1 million Rainier ‘A’ Street Improvement Project is done.

Improvement Project

This photo shows a portion of the ‘A’ Street Improvement project in mid summer.

Local and state officials will hold a ribbon cutting on Oct. 11 to mark competition of the project what began with discussions about downtown safety in 2002.

The ‘A’ Street Improvement Project is designed to improve safety along the main street of the City of Rainier, where previously the rail line had bisected the community without any safety barriers.

The project included:

  • Realigning the rail tracks, including “day-lighting” the tracks to eliminate the asphalt road surface over the track and exposing the railroad ties and aggregate base.
  • A curb and gutter was constructed to physically separate the rail line from other modes of travel. New crossing gates were installed at two locations to further improve railroad safety.
  • New ADA compliant sidewalks were constructed, storm water collection facilities were added along with new street lighting an upgraded city utilities.
  • In a related but separate project, the city of Rainier constructed a parking plaza, paved multiple City streets between A Street and U.S. 30, and improved freight movements on a nearby city street.

Funding is from several different sources, including a Connect Oregon grant and PNWR required match, Oregon Department of Transportation’s Rail and Public Transit Division, Oregon Legislative approved Regional Solutions funds, Business Oregon and the City of Rainier.

“It took forever to get done,” said State Sen. Betsy Johnson, a key supporter of the project over the years. “It is going to be an enormous impact in downtown.”

Rainier Mayor Jerry Cole said the project has been all about safety.

“This can create economic opportunities and will markedly improve Rainier infrastructure and quality of life,” Cole told The Chief in an interview in January.

Follow developments online at the chiefnews.com and in the Friday print editions of The Chief.

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