La PINE, Ore. - (Update: Fixing typo in last graf)
About halfway through construction of the Highway 97 Wickiup Junction railroad overcrossing, ODOT announced Friday it is temporarily suspending further work on the project due to a settlement issue in the embankments by the new structure. It's the second time in less than a year an unexpected issue has delayed the project.
"Over the past few weeks, ODOT has observed settlement within the embankments adjacent to the new structure," said a news release from ODOT Region 4 Public Information Officer Peter Murphy.
"The cause of the settlement is unknown at this time," the announcement continued. "ODOT will be utilizing the next few weeks to perform site investigations, review geotechnical data, and obtain additional data to help determine potential causes and evaluate mitigation options."
Murphy added, "Our current plan is to complete our preliminary investigation by the 1st of June so that we can determine our next steps."
The $17 million project north of La Pine will provide a bridge for vehicles to cross over railroad tracks at the Wickiup Junction intersection. It has been underway since last construction season.
High Desert Aggregate and Paving had resumed work on the railroad overpass in March after an earlier delay prompted by an accident that sent two beams crashing to the ground last August. ODOT said in March the project was scheduled to be complete by later this fall.