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Newbury Vermont Bridges Rehabilitation Project

 

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April 16, 2014 
 
The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) will be rehabilitating two bridges on SW Barbur Boulevard (OR 99W), just south of Capitol Highway in the Hillsdale area. The start of construction and its traffic impacts have been delayed.  The project is expected to start in late April or early May. 
 
Background:  The Newbury Street and Vermont Street bridges were built in 1934 to cross two ravines.  Both are in need of repair due to water seeping inside the joints which causes the steel rebar inside the bridge deck to rust as well as other damage.
 
ODOT will repair the concrete deck of both bridges at the bridge joints. In addition, ODOT will improve drainage, improve the ramps leading to the existing walkways, install a taller safety railing, and replace signs on both bridges.
 
In addition, the Vermont Street Bridge is one of only a few bridges in Portland that still has wooden caps, which bear the weight of the bridge at both ends. The caps are rotting and cracking due to water seeping in and around them over the years. If these wooden caps are not replaced soon, the Vermont Street Bridge will be weight restricted, which would prevent heavy vehicles, like trucks and TriMet buses, from using this section of SW Barbur Boulevard. This project will replace the wooden caps with steel caps.
  
Project Elements
  • Grind and repave the decks of both bridges
  • Replace the wooden caps on the Vermont Street bridge with steel to prevent future cracking and rotting
  • Remove and replace the concrete around the 29 joints that cross the decks of both bridges
  • Install taller pedestrian/bicycle safety railing on both bridges
  • Repair walkways, ramps and curbs on both bridges
  • Install automatically triggered “Bikes on Bridge” flashing warning signs on both bridges that don’t require riders to stop and push a button. The signs will be activated in March.
  
Construction Traffic Impacts—Revised in March 2014  
 
Shorter Project Duration

ODOT has revised its plans to rehabilitate the Newbury and Vermont Street bridges on Barbur Boulevard so the project will be completed in a shorter time, with no night or weekend work.   ODOT will now restrict traffic to one lane in each direction, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Work and lane closures will occur on one bridge at a time. The closures will start in early May.
 
This new plan reduces construction time to only 4 months.  Originally, the project was going to last 7 months in 2014 and one additional month in 2015, including night and weekend work and detours. 
This revised plan also eliminates project noise at night. To meet the shorter timeline, the contractor will close one lane in each direction on one bridge at a time during construction. The other bridge will have all lanes open. This may result in more daytime congestion, but over a shorter period of time. 
 
Click here for more information on traffic impacts and construction staging.
 
No Night Work or Weekend Detours
There will be no nighttime work or weekend closures or detours during construction.  All work will be done during daytime hours unless an unexpected need for additional work hours arises.
 
Bicyclists To Share Wider Travel Lane with Motorists
Bicycles will not be required to detour off Barbur Boulevard at any point during construction.
 
During daytime construction on each bridge, bicyclists will share a wider lane (14 feet versus the current 12-foot lane) with motor vehicles.  In the evening and on weekends, the contractor will open a separated lane through the construction zone for bicyclists, whenever feasible. On weekday evenings, the construction zone would be open for cyclists from approximately 4:30 pm to 6 a.m.  Lighting will be provided to illuminate the construction zone. The new construction plan will “micro grind” the bridge deck to provide a smoother riding surface and eliminate the use of steel plates.
The new bicycle beacons activation sensors will be inaccessible, during periods when the shared lane closest to the beacon is closed for construction. 
 
Work Affects Pedestrians

The bridge walkways will be closed in one direction during construction on each bridge.

 
TriMet Bus Stops Closed
The TriMet bus stops near the two bridges will be closed intermittently during the project.  These are the stops, in both directions  by the Capitol Highway exit and Parkhill Drive. The closest open bus stops will be at the Rasmussen Village Apartments at the north end and Southwest 2nd Avenue at the south end of the project. The northbound stop at Brier Place may be open during construction.

Lower Speed Limit During Construction

The speed limit in the work zone will be reduced to 35 miles per hour, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  The current speed limit is 45 miles per hour. There will also be increased enforcement during the project.

Other Information

The intersection of Barbur Boulevard and Parkhill Drive may be closed periodically

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Click here for more information on traffic impacts during the project.
 
Click here to see how public input changed the project. 
 
For more information on improvements for bicyclists, click here
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Location of the Two Bridges on OR99W (Barbur Boulevard). 

North is to the right and Interstate 5 is visible below Barbur. 

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Noise Impacts
 
Most all work will occur during the day.  No nighttime noise.

• A 24/7 hotline phone number is available for people to call to report urgent noise concerns or complaints. The number is 503-412-2350.

Budget and funding

This construction will cost about $2 million to complete. Funding is coming from a federal grant and matching state gas tax funds.

For More Information

ODOT is using a variety of methods to share information about the project:  mailings, open houses, presentations to neighborhood and community organizations, press releases and social media.

Visit the project Web page regularly for the latest information.
Project Web page: www.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/REGION1/pages/vermont_newbury/index.aspx

Project Contact
Susan Hanson, ODOT Community Affairs 503‐731‐3490.
susan.c.hanson@odot.state.or.us

Email Susan to sign up to receive email updates about the project.