In an effort to keep the Interstate 5 Bridge clear for possible wildfire evacuees, the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) has postponed a bridge repair project that would have closed the northbound lanes for nine days, beginning this Saturday.
“ODOT and our many partners have put a lot of work into this project over the last few years and it absolutely needs to get done,” Rian Windsheimer, ODOT manager for the Portland area, stated in a press release. “But this closure would have created additional congestion and right now we need to keep the highways moving for evacuees and emergency responders.”
The project will eventually replace parts of the lift mechanism in the south tower of the 103-year-old northbound span.
The $13 million project will repair a lift mechanism on the 103-year-old bridge’s northbound span.
ODOT officials urge people who can stay in their homes to avoid using the highways while areas throughout Northwest Oregon and Southwest Washington are still being evacuated from multiple wildfires burning in the region.
“We need hope to prioritize the roads for evacuees and emergency responders,” the agency stated.
For more information about the project, visit interstatebridge.org.