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OR 422S: Williamson River Bridge (Chiloquin)

Project Information

The Oregon Department of Transportation contracted with Key Constructors, Inc. of Bend, Oregon to replace the Williamson River Bridge in Chiloquin.  Work began in July 2012 and was completed in summer 2013. 
The OR 442 Williamson River Bridge is located in the City of Chiloquin in south central Oregon. 

Vicinity Map                                                                   Printable version of this paper 
Article about Chiloquin's Williamson River Bridge


Why this project is needed

Williamson River Bridge in the City of Chiloguin, Oregon.Keeping roads and bridges in good condition and providing for safe travel are critical parts of the mission for the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT).
The Williamson River Bridge was built in 1934 and the current structure is approximately 92 feet long and 36 feet wide.  The most recent inspection done in 2008 confirms that the bridge deck needs to be replaced.  The overall bridge rating is “poor” and has a number of deficiencies: the bridge lacks bridge rail approaches; drainage off the bridge goes into the Williamson River untreated; the bridge rail, though in good condition, does not meet current safety standards; and, the pavement at each end of the bridge has settled.  Even though the overall rating is poor, there are currently no load restrictions on the bridge nor are there any immediate safety concerns.

Project Components 

The Oregon Department of Transportation is recommending that the bridge be replaced.  Repairing the bridge was considered but when costs to replace or repair the bridge were compared versus how long the bridge would last, replacing the bridge was the better option.
This project will:
  • Replace the bridge in the same location;
  • Widen bridge to current standards;
  • Install bridge rails that meet current safety standards
  • Construct a concrete impact panel on each end of the bridge to correct the asphalt settling;
  • Install sidewalks on the bridge and connect them to the paved shoulder;
  • Install a drainage system on the bridge that will direct runoff to percolate into the ground before entering into the Williamson River; and
  • Replace the current railing in a way that preserves the historical character of the bridge.
The new bridge will be approximately 118 feet long and 52 feet wide, and three feet higher than the existing bridge.
Traffic control during construction
ODOT studied two options for accommodating traffic during construction of the new bridge.  One option was to build a detour bridge to the south of the existing bridge.  The other option was to replace one half of the bridge at a time while allowing traffic to use the other half.  The decision was made to build a single lane detour bridge with signals on either end of the bridge to control traffic.  The detour bridge will also accommodate pedestrian traffic.  The detour will be in place from the summer of 2012 to early fall 2013. The detour option provides a safer work zone for both construction workers and the traveling public, consistent traffic control throughout the life of the project (versus redirecting traffic halfway through the project), is less costly and potentially will take less time to construct. 
History of the bridge
The bridge was built in 1934.  The bridge rail is ornate and common for this era of bridge.  The replacement will be accomplished to meet State Historic Preservation requirements.

Project Timeline and Estimated Project Cost 

Design  2010 
Contract Bid Let  2012
Construction  July 2012 / Fall 2013
$2.6 million

ODOT Contacts 

Office Phone
Tom Feeley Project Manager  541-883-5780
Butch Hansen
Area Manager
Rex Holloway
Community Liaison