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Obama Administration: “Get the Portland to Vancouver Bridge Built! We’ll help!”


Columbia River Crossing, PDX to Vancouver
The Oregonian graphic

Claiming it’s a strategic project that needs to move forward ASAP to relieve a transportation bottleneck in the Pacific Northwest, the Obama administration Monday will outline how it wants to “hurry up” the Columbia River Crossing, Portland to Vancouver. The multi-billion dollar replacement for the I-5 crossing of the Columbia River at Portland has been beset with design squabbles between various agencies which the Obama administration says must be overcome, and will be with the White House committed to getting the project moving with all the construction jobs that go with it.

The story is in The Oregonian. Click here.

Bridge work on Highway 229 north of Siletz next week

SILETZ— A bridge resurfacing project will create a lane restriction and short delays for motorists traveling OR 229 near Siletz.

Beginning Monday, July 9 and continuing until Friday, July 13, between the hours of 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., the bridge at milepost 24 near Siletz will be restricted to a single lane with flaggers controlling traffic. Motorists should expect 5-10 minute delays.

Additionally, on Monday, July 9 between 3 a.m. and 8 a.m., ODOT crews will be preparing the bridge surface for the work by shot blasting. Shot blasting is the process of blasting concrete with small steel shot. It removes soft concrete and prepares the surface for bonding. The process will create noise that might be heard by residents who live near the bridge.

The Siletz Bridge is one of more than a dozen bridges scheduled for sealing and resurfacing this summer. ODOT bridge crews will perform the work funded by the ODOT Region 2 maintenance budget.

Big Creek Road should be back open this Fall

Big Creek Road today vs. April of last year

Big Creek Road that washed out a couple of years ago is finally making forward progress at getting fixed. Newport Public Works Director Tim Gross says that FEMA has authorized the design for the repair, while at the same time FEMA is doing an environmental analysis. By combining both aspects of the project, Gross says there is a good chance construction can start this summer and be complete by fall.

Residents in the Big Creek area have been down to one exit route from their homes since the slide wiped out Big Creek Road. In the meantime, 31st street has been repaired from a very old slide and has been functioning well for the neighbors. Once Big Creek Road is brought back on line, it’ll take some of the load off 31st.

ODOT repaving Highway 101 from Walmart north to the lighthouse area this Summer!


Courtesy photo

During a town hall meeting with Agate Beach area residents Monday night, Mayor Mark McConnell announced that ODOT will be repaving Highway 101 this summer, from Walmart up to the Yaquina Lighthouse area. The roadway, he said, has deteriorated considerably over the years and that new, smooth asphalt will replace the rough and loud noise-making variety that’s been in place for years. Public Works Director Tim Gross said that the semi-finished asphalt that ODOT put down years ago was made to be semi-porous so that rain water would filter down through the asphalt and not puddle dangerously on the surface. Gross said the system worked for about a year, and then lost its water removing effects due to wear.

Gross said the new smooth asphalt overlay will be completed this summer. Needless to say there will be flaggers and traffic delays. When the details are announced we’ll put them here on News Lincoln County.

A breakthrough with ODOT on Lincoln City’s Highway 101 “bottleneck.”

Lincoln City

It appears that there will eventually be less congestion along the Nelscott portion of Highway 101 in Lincoln City. After years of haggling back and forth between Lincoln City and the Oregon Department of Transportation, a deal has been struck to scrap a very expensive widening of the highway from near Taft High School to the Shell Station near Tanger Mall. This narrow stretch of highway, from 23rd to 32nd, has been a congestion headache for tourists and locals for years. ODOT has wanted to widen it to four lanes with a center turn lane, but the city opposed such an ambitious project because it would wipe out a lot of businesses on both sides of the highway.

But this week deadlock turned to compromise.

After meeting with top level ODOT officials, Mayor Dick Anderson and city staff announced that ODOT is willing to widen the highway just enough to put in a center turn lane, bike lanes, sidewalks, and the possible addition of a traffic signal at 32nd Street.

The Lincoln City City Council Monday night is expected to sign a memorandum of understanding with ODOT that will move the vision forward. But because it’s a total redesign of that stretch of 101, ODOT and the city will have to start from scratch. It means a year long process to assess design options along with city and ODOT sponsored public meetings. In short, the project is at least two to three years away from being built. But as Mayor Anderson told NewsLincolnCounty.com, “At least we know where we’re headed.”

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