WEATHER IN LINCOLN COUNTY

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ODOT: Still on schedule – Fall of 2016 – Corvallis in under an hour.

Here’s an ODOT update on the final stretch of the Highway 20 bypass project. Although the project got off to a controversial start with a private contractor, ODOT is back in charge and things appear to be moving ahead very well. This video from ODOT will give you a visual understanding of the project’s current situation. Further details are found in the written story below.

Contractor selected for next construction phase of US 20 project

Info from ODOT

CORVALLIS—A contractor has been selected for the next phase of construction of the US 20 project where three previous phases of construction (1, 2, & 2A) were completed on-budget and on-schedule since ODOT took control of the project in May of 2012.

Scarsella Brothers, Inc., of Kent, Washington was awarded the low-bid contract of $40.9 million for Phase 3 construction of the US 20 which will get underway in May. The project remains on-track to put motorists on the new roadway in the fall of 2016.

Phase 3 is a two-year phase of construction on the unfinished segment of a new 5.5 mile section of highway that will bypass 10 miles of current US 20, west of Eddyville. The finished project will have generous amounts of passing lanes over it’s five mile stretch.

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In 2014 and 2015, Phase 3 construction will include:

* Blasting and placement of 2.5 million cubic yards of earth and rock to form the final alignment of the unfinished segment.
* Construction of approximately 20 miles of horizontal drains to remove subsurface water that causes landslide activity.
* Construction of rock buttresses to mitigate landslide effects
* Construction of 415 ground anchors to mitigate landslide effects

More construction phases to come

Later this spring, a contract will be awarded for Phase 3A construction which will remove more than 100,000 cubic yards of earth from a nearby site to make way for a mitigation site to improve habitat for fish and other wildlife.

Traffic is expected to be switched to the new segment in the fall of 2016 after Phase 4 construction, which will include final roadway base construction and paving, landscaping, guardrail, signs, wildlife crossing; and any final landslide mitigation.

Phase 5 will improve habitat for fish, birds, and other wildlife in up to nine areas on or near the project site.

History of the project after first attempt by a private contractor

ODOT took back control of the project’s design and construction after a negotiated settlement with the original contractor in May, 2012. Granite Construction reimbursed $15 million ODOT in project funding. Since then, Phase 1, 2, and 2A construction were delivered on time and within the estimated budget. Those phases have:

* Constructed 90 miles of horizontal drains
* Installed hundreds of ground monitoring sensors to collect critical data on landslide activity
* Constructed more than 3200 feet of culvert to replace bridges at four locations
* Demolished 1 completed and 3 partially completed bridges
* Recycled 100 bridge beams for a savings of $2.3 million on another ODOT project
* Produced 600,000 tons of rock to be used in buttress and drain construction
* Constructed safety improvements to current US 20, including a curve realignment and improved curve warning signs.

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In January, 2013, the Oregon Transportation Commission approved an additional allocation of $141 million to complete the $365.78 million dollar project by taking an observational approach to the landslide data to help pinpoint where and how much additional slide mitigation will be needed.

Although the Highway 20 project cost more than was anticipated, some of those extra costs will be offset from savings on other highway projects statewide that came in under budget. Those savings were produced from the long, slow economic recovery from the recession which made bidding competition among contractors rather spirited. For example, Phase 3 construction was originally estimated at $70 million. The bid award came in at $40.9 million.

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