U.S. Coast Guard seeks public input on Beltline Bridge improvements over the Willamette River
The Oregon Department of Transportation’s proposal to build a new bridge, and redo another, to ease traffic over the Willamette River in Eugene may be years out, but the U.S. Coast Guard has begun taking public comments on possible impacts to navigation.
The project involves removing and replacing the Beltline Bridge, and adding a new arterial highway north of the Beltline Bridge. Both bridges include room for pedestrians.
The project is a part of ODOT's 2014 Beltline Facility Plan which identified several projects aimed at easing traffic along Beltline Highway.
ODOT spokesperson Lou Torres, says while they don't have the funding for the bridge yet, or the projected cost, they’re getting a headstart on the environmental process.
“That’s the only thing that we have funded for the Beltline Bridge replacement and it’s about $5 million for both doing some engineering or design work, or the [National Environmental Policy Act] process,” he said. Torres adds once funding becomes available ODOT will be able to move forward with the project faster.
Mariners and maritime stakeholders have until Oct. 29 to submit comments to the Thirteenth Coast Guard District in Seattle. Meanwhile, the related Delta Highway interchange project is expected to be completed by the end of this year.
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