ODOT has just announced that larger, heavily laden semi trucks will soon be subject to new requirements when traveling over the US 101 Yaquina Bay Bridge in Newport.
Beginning March 1st, the permitted heavy haul trucks will be required to stop traffic on the bridge and proceed straddling the center line, using certified flaggers for traffic control at both ends of the bridge.
“These crossings won’t take much time,” said ODOT District 4 Manager Joe Squire. “Motorists will be delayed only 5 to 10 minutes.”
Approximately 200 heavy haul permitted trucks annually will be affected by the weight restriction. With daily traffic of 16,500 vehicles per day, it represents a slight fraction of a percent of the current traffic volume of the bridge.
The new load restriction is intended to extend the usable life of the bridge which first opened to traffic in 1936 as part of the country’s economic stimulus package to get the Depression era economy going again.
The Yaquina Bay Bridge was built to standards for traffic in the 1930’s. With modern maintenance techniques, the bridge has withstood the harsh coastal environment and has accommodated the increasingly heavy loads of the modern freight industry. In order to assure decades more of usable life, ODOT has decided to implement the weight restriction.
“Newport is, and will remain easily and safely accessible, and open for business for the traveling public and freight,” said Squire.