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Freeway construction underway

ONCOMING TRAFFIC enters the new construction zone through The Dalles that involved repaving of 3.8 miles of freeway and replacement of the Threemile Bridge.

Photo by Mark Gibson
ONCOMING TRAFFIC enters the new construction zone through The Dalles that involved repaving of 3.8 miles of freeway and replacement of the Threemile Bridge.

Where to go

The Oregon Department of Transportation hosts an open house Wednesday, Feb. 25, to provide residents with information about a nearly 16-month major construction project on Interstate 84.

Community members are invited to come to The Dalles Middle School commons area, 1100 East 12th St., and ask questions of ODOT construction personnel from 5:30 to 7 p.m. No formal presentation will be given.

Project information is also available online at http://www.oregon....

Traffic on Interstate 84 is now restricted to one lane in each direction for 3.8 miles within The Dalles city limits.

Bob Townsend, assistant project manager for the Oregon Department of Transportation, said the orange barrels blocking off the east and west right lanes were put up Monday.

He said signs that take the speed limit down to 50 miles per hour will be posted next week.

“There should just be a delay of a couple minutes going through the area but it will be a delay,” said Townsend.

The north shoulder of the roadway is now being repaved to accommodate barricades that will shift lanes to the north and narrow them from 20 feet to 17 or 18 feet.

“It’s not as restrictive now as it will be in a few weeks,” said Thompson.

The construction zone begins at milepost 84.3 and extends east to Fifteenmile Creek.

The $22.4 million project undertaken by Wildish Standard Paving Company of Eugene also includes construction of a new bridge over Threemile Creek, work that will begin in late May or early June.

Townsend said two-lane traffic will return during peak travel time during the summer months and on holidays.

Freeway on and off ramps will remain except when paving necessitates closures, which typically takes place at night when there is less traffic.

“It’s a pretty involved project,” said Townsend.

Paving work will pick up again after Labor Day, which is Sept. 7, and work is expected wrap up in late May or early June of 2016.

The pavement being replaced by ODOT was put in place in 1966 and is currently rated in “fair” condition due to severe rutting and poor ride quality.

In the spring of 2014, Brett DeHart, project leader for ODOT, told The Dalles City Council that 8 inches of concrete would be dug out of the existing roadway and replaced with 12 inches, in addition to 2 inches of asphalt beneath that.

He said the reinforced concrete was expected to be in place 50-60 years. The median barriers will be replaced with taller models that provide greater safety for trucks that use the freeway in large numbers.

The Threemile Bridge is being replaced because the box culvert fills with sediment, restricting creek flows and impeding fish passage.


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