One of the biggest traffic problem spots is US-26 westbound at the OR-217 merge, where four lanes of traffic have to squeeze into two lanes in about ¼ mile. On top of that, they have to contend with people who want to exit onto Cedar Hills Blvd. (Exit 68), making the site accident-prone. This project should eliminate these problems by placing the Cedar Hills offramp before OR-217 traffic merges onto US-26 WB, allowing traffic headed to US-26 WB from OR-217 would go over the offramp; OR-217 traffic bound for Cedar Hills Blvd. would be directed to take the Barnes Rd. offramp. Additionally, traffic from Barnes Rd. would be able to access US-26 WB without going to Cedar Hills Blvd., and US-26 would be widened to three lanes EB and three-to-four lanes WB. The new interchanges would look like this:
As of December 2005, the braided interchange was completed and opened to traffic. I traveled this interchange in mid-December 2005 less than a week after it opened. At this point, construction remnants still remain (cones, etc.), old sign gantries still exist, and the interchange is not landscaped. I imagine the job will be finished within 6 months or so.
The US-26 widening project has also been extended from Murray Blvd. (Exit 67) to Cornell Rd. (Exit 65). However, no complete details about either of those interchanges is available; it most likely involves widening to three lanes each way.