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Oregon 38: Scottsburg Bridge Replacement

Project News 

Scottsburg Bridge open house displays available online
More than 60 visitors attended the Scottsburg Bridge project open house on January 11. The purpose of the meeting was to provide an update on the project and discuss the history of the bridge and the Scottsburg community.
For those who couldn't attend in person, ODOT is providing both the open house displays and historic photo album online.
Comments can be emailed to Dan.Latham@odot.state.or.us.
(January 18, 2017) 



ODOT is taking the first step toward replacing the Scottsburg Bridge. While the money needed to build the bridge hasn’t been secured yet, ODOT is designing a new bridge that will better accommodate modern traffic. If construction funding for a new bridge cannot be secured, ODOT will shelve the plans for the new bridge and focus on a variety of bridge repairs instead.
 Scotts Bridge map 3 -  800x250.bmp

Project facts:
•    Location: Oregon 38 (Umpqua Highway), milepost 16.4
•    Overall budget: $30 million to $40 million (estimate)
•    Construction schedule: 2019 or later (pending funding)
What is the problem?
Oregon 38 (Umpqua Highway) is a vital route between Interstate 5, the southern Oregon coast, and the Port of Coos Bay. Although many other bridges along Oregon 38 have been replaced in recent years, the Scottsburg Bridge remains largely unchanged since it was built. Opened in 1929, during an era when most vehicles were small and speeds low, the bridge’s narrow lanes and tight corners at both ends are less than ideal for modern traffic.
ScBr-1-small.jpgWhat is the solution?
Over the years, ODOT has focused on maintaining the existing bridge and addressing problems as they arise. Fully repairing the bridge would involve sandblasting and repainting the green steel truss and repairing any bad steel sections, repairing and repaving the deck and replacing the deck joints, replacing the concrete railing, repairing the concrete pier caps, and strengthening the bridge to better withstand earthquakes. However, such repairs wouldn’t address the more fundamental problems with the bridge—the narrow width, sharp approach curves, and low overhead clearance.

Due to the need for so many repairs and improvements to the existing structure, ODOT believes the construction of a new bridge would be a better long-term investment. A new bridge could better accommodate modern traffic and would be more likely to withstand a large earthquake or other natural disaster than the current structure.
As a result, ODOT is designing a replacement bridge in the event that construction funding becomes available. The new bridge will be designed according to modern standards and an alignment just downstream of the existing structure is being considered. Due to the cost of maintaining two structures, the old bridge would be removed. Most other details of the new bridge have yet to be determined. Depending on funding, a new bridge could be constructed as early as 2019. If funding for a new bridge cannot be secured, ODOT will proceed with the repairs mentioned above.
Project Funding:
As of February 27, 2017, the project is funded at $2.8 million, which covers design and a portion of expected right-of-way costs. Total project costs through construction are anticipated to be approximately $30 million to $40 million.

Project materials and links

•   News release: Public invited to weigh in on Scottsburg community and historic bridge (January 6, 2017)
•   Postcard: Invitation to Scottsburg Bridge Open House (mailed January 3, 2017)
•   Open House: Scottsburg Bridge project displays (January 11, 2017)

•   Open House: Scottsburg Bridge historical photos (January 11, 2017)

•   News release: Drilling operations begin near Scottsburg Bridge (August 15, 2016)
•   Information Sheet: Oregon 38 Scottsburg Bridge replacement (April 2017)
•   News article (CBS): Tractor trailer hangs from Oregon bridge after crash (Sept. 19, 2014)
•   Video (The World): Semi Crashes on Scottsburg Bridge (Sept. 18, 2014)
•   Bridgehunter.com: Photos and information about Scottsburg Bridge

For more information

Dan Latham
ODOT Public Affairs
3500 NW Stewart Parkway
Roseburg, OR 97470
Phone: (541) 957-3601