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US 101-Cape Creek Bridge Rail Retrofit


The historic Cape Creek Bridge has a deteriorating bridge railing that does not meet modern safety standards, and has several areas with exposed reinforcement and inserts that are deteriorating.
The existing sidewalk has also been damaged from saltwater spray penetrating the concrete.

A standard highway guardrail was applied at the curb to provide traffic safety but detracts from the historic nature of the bridge.
By replacing the original deteriorated concrete railing with a modern railing, the safety for the traveling public will be within modern safety standards, and will preserve the historic nature of both the bridge and the nearby tunnel.

This project will replace the existing bridge rail with an upgraded concrete railing called a "stealth" rail that matches the look of the original rail while providing the safety of a modern bridge rail.
The new rail will be comprised of precast segments to expedite construction.
The sidewalk will also be replaced to accommodate the new rail system.



  Construction information

The replacement of the rail and sidewalk will be completed in two stages. The west half of the bridge will be closed during Stage 1, and the east half will be closed during stage 2.
Traffic will be reduced to a single lane during daytime construction, returning to two lanes of travel at night.
 Twenty-four-hour flagging will be necessary for two periods of 7 to 10 days each to allow for the removal of the existing rails.
During the 24 hour flagging, flaggers will control northbound and southbound vehicular
and bicycle traffic through the work zone. Twenty-four-hour flagging will also be provided for Cape Creek Road. Impacts to the traveling public will be minimized to the extent practical.
Access to the Heceta Head State Park will be maintained at all times during construction.
Vehicle and pedestrian traffic under the bridge will be protected by a work platform and containment system suspended from beneath the bridge.
Construction is anticipated to be completed by June 2014.
The low-bid contract of $2.162 million was awarded to Hamilton Construction of Springfield, Oregon.



The Cape Creek Bridge is among those historic bridges that make up the legacy of famed Oregon bridge designer, Conde McCullough.

Located on US 101 at milepost 178, above the Heceta Head Lighthouse Scenic Viewpoint, the numerous columns and arches of the viaduct section are reminiscent of the Roman aqueducts. The main span
of the 619-foot structure is a 220- foot open spandrel rib-type reinforced concrete deck arch.
Construction of the bridge was completed in 1932, the same year that the Oregon Coast Highway was completed.  It was added to the National Registry of Historic Places in 2005.

At the south end of the bridge is the Cape Creek Tunnel, constructed in 1931. 
The section of highway that includes the tunnel and bridge was once referred to as the “million dollar mile” for the costs associated with the engineering challenges faced during construction.
The bridge had a brush with modern history when, between 1990 and 1992,  it became the first Oregon bridge to test cathodic protection as a method of preserving it from the corrosive effects of saltwater in the coastal environment.


Steve Templin, Assistant Project Manager, 541-744-8080 or email at:  Steve.TEMPLIN@odot.state.or.us

Rick Little, Public Information Officer, 541-726-2442 or email at:  Richard.LITTLE@odot.state.or.us