Hwy. 58 tunnel closures end -- but project not done
Disputed Salt Creek Tunnel work continues next year
The Monday through Thursday, nighttime complete closures of the Oregon Highway 58 Salt Creek Tunnel will end on Friday morning, but the project is not over, ODOT officials said Thursday.
When the tunnel on OR 58 (Willamette Hwy., milepost 56) reopens at 6 a.m. Friday morning, it will remain open 24 hours per day, seven days per week. Also beginning Friday, traffic will be allowed in both directions of travel.
There will be intermittent, daytime single lane restrictions for paving next week. During the lane restrictions, motorists can expect 10-20 minute delays with traffic controlled by pilot cars.
Once paving is complete, two way travel will be allowed until construction resumes in the spring.
Construction to continue in 2014
Significant delays in construction this season have affected the $9.37 million project to rebuild four half-viaducts and repair and improve the tunnel liner. ODOT and the contractor are in disagreement over the cause of the delays.
Consequently, a third construction season will be necessary to complete the project.
To date, the contractor has completed:
- Lowering the tunnel roadway and sidewalks
- The tunnel liner concrete repairs
- Two of the four viaducts (bridges)
- The pile footing installation for all viaducts
- The tunnel lighting repairs
- The tunnel liner crack Injection and painting
- Installing all permanent signs
The schedule now shows that the following work will be completed in 2014:
- Construction of two remaining viaducts (bridges)
- Installation of two Variable Message Signs
- Completion of final paving and striping
While no final construction schedule has been established for 2014, ODOT will work to keep travel impacts to a minimum and any nighttime closures short-lived.
ODOT can assure motorists and commercial freight haulers that there will be no extended complete closure of the highway.
In 2014, there will be intermittent nighttime (8 p.m. to 6 a.m.) complete highway closures but ODOT is working with the contractor to avoid consecutive night closures.
There will be a single lane restriction for the 2014 construction season.
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