UPDATE: March 14, 2019. ODOT announced its postponing the closure of the 6th avenue on ramp until further notice.
Next week, the Oregon Department of Transportation goes to phase 2 of its 18-million dollar preservation project on the I-105 Bridge in Eugene. This includes closing one of the on-ramps to the bridge that spans the Willamette River.
ODOT expects the closure of the 6th Avenue on-ramp to last for about 6 weeks. Steve Templin, Project Manager for ODOT, says the bridge is more than 50 years old and the work will make it last another 50 to 75 years—and make it more seismically resilient. “As you know we have so few lifelines over the Willamette River here. We just want to preserve the ones we have so that any earthquake doesn’t damage the bridge beyond repair.”He says the bridge work is necessary because it was built in the late 1960s and one of its joints has already failed. “We’re going in and replacing the joints. We’re upgrading the bridge rail. We’re replacing the deck. If you look down at the Willamette River structure you’ll see a lot of holes in the deck and rebar hanging out. That’s all stuff we’re trying to address. And our goal here is to have another 50 to 75 years when we’re done here.” The first phase of the 2 year project entailed removal of a bridge that is obsolete. That work has added to traffic on 6th and 7th avenues and Coburg road. ODOT has worked with the City of Eugene and Lane County to try to help with traffic impacts. They’ve added cameras to TripCheck to help drivers plan their routes. Copyright 2019 KLCC.