ODOT bringing a bit of commuter pain before the new stretch of Highway 20 opens to the valley this fall.
US-20 CLOSURES THIS SUMMER
The Oregon Dept. of Transportation has announced a series of summer road closures and delays in order to complete the US-20 Pioneer Mountain-Eddyville bypass Project.
* Currently, single lane restrictions with 20 minute delays are necessary to protect the traveling public because of the logging, clearing and earthwork on and above the highway. These are occurring in the area of milepost 16, during daylight hours on Monday through Thursday between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. and on Fridays 9 a.m. to noon. This work is expected to end at the end of February.
* Two-hour day closures in the area are planned from early June to mid-July. These are necessary because drilling and blasting operations will be happening adjacent to the highway. Use Highways 34 and 18 as detours.
* Ten-hour nighttime complete closures are planned to occur from mid-July through the end of October. These are necessary because the drilling, blasting and earthwork operations are above and alongside the highway and it is necessary to give the contractor enough room and time to do this safely. Use Highways 34 and 18 as detours.
* The two-hour daytime closures and ten-hour nighttime closures will not occur on the same day.
This could pose some problems for local businesses dependent on tourist traffic from the valley. The Newport Chamber of Commerce and other groups will be looking to advocate for work only during the evening and have it start after the summer tourist season comes to an end. No word on whether ODOT will even entertain such a schedule change this late in the project’s timeline based on budgets and other construction projects around the state in ODOT’s work flow.