OREGON HIGHWAY 38 — Drivers headed between Reedsport and Interstate 5 will need to get ready for a year of delays for a $7.4 million project.
Beginning Aug. 14, work began on the project "that repairs or replaces 34 culverts along Oregon 38," said Oregon Department of Transportation spokesman Dan Latham.
As many as five different work zones may be operating at any time.
"At Burchard Creek (milepost 21.5) and Grabb Creek (milepost 25.1), new bridges will replace the existing box culverts," Latham said.
The construction will limit traffic to a single lane at both locations for a year and Latham said workers will install temporary traffic signals either late this month or in early September.
Additionally, laborers will install box culverts at Scott Creek, located at milepost 25.6, and Green Creek, which is at milepost 41.9.
"Traffic at both locations will be limited to a single lane with flaggers for a period of two to three consecutive weeks," the spokesman said. Then at other times, drivers can anticipate temporary lane closures. Flaggers will be present.
Traffic signals at the bridges will include push buttons for pedestrians.
With the temporary traffic signals "this will allow us to take out the old culvert and build the new bridge on the same alignment as the highway."
He said "delays should only be a couple of minutes or so."
"Since we'll have two signals operating, along with two or three other work zones with flaggers, we could be looking at total delays of 20 minutes," Latham added. "This is almost exactly the same approach we took at Luder Creek last year, where we replaced a box culvert with a bridge."
Luder Creek is at milepost 11 again at Highway 38.
"We are also going to have a detour lane around the two box culvert replacements," the spokesman said. "But since the new culverts are pre-cast, we should be able to swap them pretty quickly. We're only planning to use the one-lane detour for about two-three weeks at these locations."
The contractor is Legacy Construction, which will set up signs and move equipment into place in the next few weeks. Legacy is based out of Stayton, Ore.
"The biggest impacts will likely start after Labor Day," Latham emphasized.
"Flaggers will accommodate pedestrians and bicyclists at the other work zones," he said.
There's more to the project too.
"The project also repairs or replaces 30 small culverts along Oregon 38 between Reedsport and Elkton and two small culverts on U.S. 101 near Winchester," Latham said.
Oregon State Police troopers will patrol the work construction area more in the coming year.
ODOT officials anticipate workers to finish the project in September 2018.
This project is part of a three-year pilot program that repairs or replaces more than 150 culverts along Oregon 38 and U.S. 101 to improve drainage and fish passage.