I-5 Willamette River Bridge Project | Project Overview
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|Built in 1962, the Interstate 5 Willamette River Bridge borders the cities of Eugene and Springfield and provides a critical link for moving freight and people on the I-5 corridor. |
In 2002, shear cracks were identified in the bridge structure resulting in weight limits that detoured heavy haul trucks to Central Oregon, 200 miles out of their way. ODOT opened a temporary bridge in 2004 as an interim solution to keep the route open for freight and other vehicles until a new bridge could be built. The temporary bridge was constructed using materials and methods that could be installed quickly, but that do not meet environmental, design or seismic standards for permanent freeway bridges.
As part of the Oregon Transportation Investment Act of 2003, funds were dedicated to replace the Willamette River Bridge. The bridge replacement project moved forward in November 2008 when the Federal Highway Administration issued a "Finding of No Significant Impact," based on an environmental assessment conducted by ODOT. Construction work began in May 2009. Over the course of the next two years, a massive work bridge was built, the decommissioned bridge dismantled and the new southbound bridge constructed. By the end of summer 2011, the new southbound I-5 bridge was opened to traffic, ahead of schedule.
Future bike paths
After discussions with park staff from the cities of Springfield and Eugene, ODOT has decided not to replace the bike path south of Franklin Boulevard. Instead, we will build a new multi-use path on the north side of Franklin Boulevard, connecting to the existing path just east of the Knickerbocker Bridge. This configuration will be consistent with the adopted path plans of the cities of Eugene and Springfield.
In addition, ODOT continues to work with the city of Springfield on a south bank viaduct to accommodate this new path. Construction on the viaduct path began in October 2012 and the finished path will open to users by early 2014.
Bridge replacement project cost estimate
- Project estimated cost is $204 million total.
- Funding sources are Oregon Department of Transportation Investment Act and federal SAFETEA-LU (Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users) earmark funds.
Upcoming construction work
- Complete and open the new northbound Interstate 5 bridge.
- Remove lane restrictions on Franklin Boulevard.
- Reopen the I-5 northbound off-ramp to Franklin Boulevard, exit 192.
- Remove the work bridge and construction materials stored in the Whilamut Natural Area.
- Complete stream restoration on south bank.
- Complete the south bank viaduct multi-use path.
- Complete soft and paved paths in the Whilamut Natural Area and remove all temporary paths.
- Complete landscaping and install design enhancements.
- Project complete.