Intel’s Hillsboro build-out has neighbors on edge

Intel growing pains
Hundreds of truck trips up rural roads around Intel's Hillsboro expansion project have neighbors wondering when it will end -- and state road workers saying they'll be taking care of the cost for wear-and-tear on roads.

HILLSBORO, Ore. (KOIN) — Trucks are making hundreds of trips a day up and down a residential Hillsboro street.

It’s part of an Intel expansion neighbors hope will mean good things for the economy. After all, Intel is Oregon’s largest private employer. But for now they’re struggling with growing pains.

At Intel’s Ronler Acres campus Wednesday construction workers crawl the campus by day and cranes jut into the skyline by night. These are just some of the side effects of expansion,  affecting even people who don’t live anywhere near Intel’s campus.

Dump trucks roll to and from the Intel campus to a nearby rock quarry. Their most direct driving route takes the heavy vehicles up and down Southwest Tongue Lane, an area not far from the campus where the sound of chirping birds has been replaced by the sound of truck traffic.

“You get four or five of [the trucks] together,” said neighbor Jeff Burgess, and his house will “rumble a little.”

Burgess lives right next to the road at the Westview Mobile Estates. He has learned to live with the noise rolling by him every day.

“I’m kind of tired of this,” he said, “but that’s the way it goes.”

There’s also wear-and-tear on the road.

“I was talking to a driver a couple days ago,” said neighbor Ernie Doyle, “and he was saying there’s hundred[s of] trucks making multiple trips through here everyday — and it wears.”

KOIN 6 News asked the county about the costs to repair roads from all the trucks. A spokesperson said the cost is nothing it can’t handle.

Later this year just as the Intel truck traffic on Tongue Lane begins to taper off, state roadway work begins.

Oregon’s Department of Transportation is expected to start a $45 million expansion of the Brookwood Parkway/Helvetia Road Interchange on Highway 26 north of Intel’s Hillsboro campus. The road work is expected to improve traffic flow between the highway and Intel.

The truck traffic around the Intel expansion will continue through the spring and summer.

While the community is hopeful the construction will indeed bring jobs and economic growth, right now all they’re seeing are the growing pains.

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