The following is from an email from the Oregon Department of Transportation concerning The Dalles Bridge Deck Replacement Project.
The purpose of this email is to update the media and thus the community about an upcoming ODOT construction project that will replace the driving surface (bridge deck) on the US197 Bridge over the Columbia River in The Dalles. This project has been in the design phase for the last 18 months with construction scheduled to start in 2021. This is a very large project ($25 million) that requires substantial coordination with local jurisdictions and stakeholders. One of the complicated issues relates to construction staging and how we handle traffic when we are replacing the bridge deck. It is impossible to replace the bridge deck and allow traffic to use the bridge at the same time. We understood early on that an extended closure of the bridge (8+ months) was not feasible due to the impacts to commuter traffic, emergency services, business deliveries, etc. In order to minimize the impacts ODOT has selected a Thursday evening through Monday morning closure window between September 2021 and May of 2022. This allows us to minimize the effects on commuter traffic and complete the bridge work within one seasonal closure outside of the summer tourism season, and without conflicting with critical agricultural harvest timeframes. During the closure traffic detours will be signed to utilize the Biggs bridge over the Columbia, however we also anticipate additional traffic using the Hood River Bridge based on their departure and destination locations. I have attached a one page document that we will be sharing with the community that contains additional background info regarding our closure window selection.
We are finalizing this decision point now so we can continue to work towards mitigating any issues that arise with plenty of lead up time to our first closure in September of 2021. All residents of The Dalles, Dallesport, and surrounding affected communities will be receiving a mailer this week with information regarding an online open house. Our on-line open house for this project opens Monday, May 25th and will stay open for two weeks.
To visit, please go to openhouse.oregondot.org . We will use this on-line open house to provide more detailed information regarding the project and also to obtain additional feedback and concerns. The email we are sending the media is just one of many that will be going out to various stakeholders who may be impacted by the project.
We understand that this project will have impacts to the local community, but are hopeful that we can minimize impacts with this closure window and that this advanced notification will allow people to prepare and plan for this project. I’ve included my contact information below if you have any comments, questions, or would like clarification.