ODOT Moving Ahead - November 2008

Page 11

I-5 bridge construction keeps busy around Grants Pass The end of the summer construction season won’t signal a pause for three bridge replacement projects along Interstate 5 around Grants Pass. Prime contractor Holm II of Stayton, Ore., is demolishing and rebuilding two I-5 bridges at exit 55 and a new, southbound Louse Creek bridge at the Merlin exit 61. Meanwhile, prime contractor Wildish Standard Paving of Eugene, Ore. is constructing two, new I-5 bridges that span Beacon Drive, a local Grants Pass street. I-5 traffic is currently traveling on temporary bridges in the work zones to accommodate the bridge construction. “Both contractors will be very busy this winter,” said Project Manager Chris Hunter. Hunter said there are additional challenges with the work at exit 55 because the southbound bridge is near the point where local traffic merges onto I-5 from Grants Pass and the curvature of the interstate itself.

I-5 northbound traffic drives past the bridge construction work at Grants Pass exit 55.

Beacon Drive, mile post 57 The work zone between the two Grants Pass interchanges is narrowed to a single lane in each direction and will remain in that configuration until Memorial Day 2009. “We expect to see longer delays during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend,” said Hunter. “Traffic volumes increase significantly on the Wednesday and Sunday of the holiday weekend.”

America’s dirty little secret Vehicles travel beneath the interstate 5 bridges under construction at Grants Pass exit 55.

“Constructing the bridges at exit 55 is really going to be a challenge because the location is on the edge of a hillside,” Hunter said. “This section of I-5 is on a curve and has a tilt, or super, to accommodate traffic at interstate speeds.”

Americans throw away enough aluminum every month to rebuild our entire commercial air fleet.

Keep it clean.

Louse Creek, exit 61 Crews are currently working on the new southbound I-5 bridge. Motorists can expect nighttime ramp closures with delays of up to 20 minutes.



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MOVING AHEAD November 2008