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Willamette River Closed at Springfield I-5 Bridge
For Immediate Release -June 30, 2011
The Oregon State Marine Board is closing a small section of the Willamette River at Springfield due to high water, debris and the complex I-5 Bridge construction project. The closure, effective July 1, prohibits all boats from operating between the low-head dam upriver of the I-5 Bridge to the downstream end of the I-5 construction project, a distance of about 1,000 feet.
The Lane County Sheriffs Department and Eugene Springfield Fire and EMS requested the closure after a boating accident on Sunday, June 26. It was the second accident in that location this spring. With hot weather forecast for the July 4 weekend, sheriff and fire personnel felt an emergency closure was warranted to prevent additional serious accidents as people head to the water to recreate.
Of primary concern are watercraft with limited maneuverability and people floating down the river on water toys such as inner tubes and air mattresses. It’s extremely difficult to avoid being trapped against pilings and debris in the construction area.
The closure will remain in place until the hazardous condition can be mitigated.