Work resumed on the Highway 20 project back in June after design problems caused ODOT and the original contractor, Granite Construction, to part ways. A new contractor working with ODOT is in the process of taking down a lot of what Granite had put up, especially in the way of bridges. It was the bridges that tipped off inspectors in that unstable ground made bridge construction too expensive in some high ground-movement areas. As a result, design engineers decided to re-route the highway by staying on the bottoms of the valleys and avoid what are commonly referred to as “mud glaciers” which continued to move and misalign four sets of bridge supports installed by Granite.
Another set of those bridge supports will be demolished this Monday. Replacing the bridges with culverts is more cost effective than long term bridge maintenance in landslide areas, according to ODOT.
ODOT says they expect the Highway 20 project to be complete by Fall of 2015. It will make travel to and from the valley a lot safer and faster since the highway will be wider and without tire screeching sharp curves and bends in it.