Over 800 people explored the new soon-to-open U.S. 20 alignment between Toledo and Eddyville on Saturday, using their feet and bicycles to travel the Pioneer Mountain-Eddyville Project roadway before it opens to vehicles later this month.
Most of the new 5.5 mile roadway was experienced as visitors drove onto the new section to park and then walked through 2.2 miles. The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) had seven locations where people could learn about the engineering challenges faced and the solutions that were developed. One of the most popular sites was the large animal crossing, a huge tunnel that goes under the highway, one of the largest of its kind in North America.
“This has been a long difficult journey, and there were times we stumbled.” said Matt Garrett, ODOT’s Director. “So as we reflect on what we have learned it is now time as we come close to completing the journey, to celebrate the benefits, and those benefits are many with regard to this investment. The connection of the valley to the mid-coast is very important for safety reasons, for economic reasons, for economic growth opportunity, and just the efficiency of moving from Point A to Point B, whether it’s personal mobility or whether it’s freight mobility.”
Leaders who championed the project from its beginnings were on hand to share their memories and share in the celebration of it being nearly open, along with community partners who have been sharing project updates and road closure information with travelers and visitors.
The new alignment of U.S. 20 is scheduled to open October 15, but could open earlier, depending on weather conditions that impact final construction.
Overnight closures will continue through the end of October at the west end curve tie-in. The closures are necessary to allow construction activities and blasting to continue directly adjacent to (and above) the existing highway. Overnight closures are not planned for construction at the west end curve next year.
The road will be closed 7 p.m. to 5 a.m., Saturday through Thursday nights. The road remains open on Fridays. Closures were cancelled for October 1 and 2 due to rain. For the latest in closure times and days, check TripCheck.com.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest opens this Friday, October 7 and runs through October 30th at the Newport Performing Arts Center. The show brings Ken Kesey’s most famous book to life with the script by Dale Wasserman. The play follows the book in that the story is seen through Chief Bromden’s eyes.
Here’s a quick plot line, courtesy “The Commons” – When Randle McMurphy gets transferred for evaluation from a prison farm to a mental institution, he assumes it will be a less restrictive environment. But the Head Nurse Ratched runs the psychiatric ward with an iron fist, keeping her patients cowed through abuse, medication and sessions of electroshock therapy. There’s a coup among the patients – it ends badly, and that’s putting it mildly.
Red Octopus Theatre Company is producing the show and some of the most talented actors in Newport are portraying the coveted roles, including: John Arnold as Harding, Justin Atkins as Billy Bibbit , Michael Spivey as Chief Bromden, Ron Miller as Cheswick, Rich Hicks as Scanlon and Ernie Brown as Ruckly. It also introduces Nathan Bush as R.P. McMurphy. Nathan just moved here from Kentucky and was a professional actor with St. Louis Actors Studio, Max and Louie Productions and St. Louis Shakespeare. He is currently the Instructor of Acting for the Department of Arts and Communication with Oregon State University.
The coveted role of Nurse Ratched will be performed by Larayne Yaeger from Lincoln City. She moved here from Montana two years ago and was active with Helena Theatre Company and Grand Street Theater also in Helena.
The comedy-drama has been in rehearsal since July and received grants from The Siletz Charitable Contribution Fund for costumes, a partial grant from the Lincoln Cultural Fund for sound and a grant from The Collins Foundation for set construction and to hire professional set designer, Tim Stapleton from Portland.
Tickets are on sale at the Newport Performing Arts Center, or call 541-265-ARTS, or online at octopusonstage.com
Investigators, prompted by audit findings produced by the state Secretary of State’s Office, has turned up potentially millions of dollars in inappropriately awarded tax credits to companies jumping on the green energy race car that has produced many projects throughout Oregon. Some of them were very effective at receiving tax credits and produced worthwhile green energy projects, while others appeared to be just gaming the system. There was steady stream of criticism from the sidelines on many of the projects approved during the Kulongoski and Kitzhaber adminsitrations, but the program remained in high gear none-the-less.
In a report in The Oregonian, the newspaper concludes that there seemed to be an awareness of tax incentive “irregularies” going on for years but nobody stepped in to stop it. Here’s the report. Click here.
Update – Big Creek and Schooner Creek Pump Station Overflows Stopped
Yesterday at approximately 8 p.m., the repair of the broken force main for the Schooner Creek Pump Station was completed, stopping the overflow from the pump station at the west end of NW 68th Street. This morning, October 1st, at approximately 10:30 a.m., the temporary bypass pump for the Big Creek Pump Station was repaired, stopping all wastewater overflows at Agate Beach.
Signs warning of the recent sewage overflows are posted at the affected areas and sampling is being conducted to determine when the water is safe for contact. Contact with water contaminated with bacteria can increase the risk of disease. Please avoid contact with these waterbodies until further notice.
Please contact the City of Newport Public Works at 541-574-3366 with any questions.