Work begins on Umatilla River bridge

The Oregon Department of Transportation has begun repair work on the Umatilla River Bridge on Highway 730.

Work began Monday on the almost $2.5 million project, which includes repairs of concrete arch spans, girders and beams, as well as resurfacing. In addition, the drainage system will be modified, expansion joints will be updated and guardrail replaced or modified at the ends of the bridge to meet current standards.

During March and April, the bridge will be restricted to a single lane of travel during the day, Monday-Thursday. Flaggers will direct alternating one-way traffic across the bridge, so drivers can expect delays of up to 20 minutes, and both lanes should be open over night. Starting in May, however, the bridge will be restricted to one lane 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including some nighttime closures. ODOT will display reminders at the bridge site before the full bridge closures.Because of the restrictions, vehicles more than 13 feet in width will need to detour around the bridge, primarily through Interstate 84 and Interstate 82.

Pedestrian access across the bridge will be maintained at all times. The project is expected to be completed by the end of July.

Built in 1924, the original bridge is one of the few remaining concrete arch support structures of its type in Eastern Oregon. In 1949, a second bridge with similar features was constructed alongside the first one to create the current structure. The bridge measures 431 feet in length with a 30-foot wide roadway, plus four-and-a-half feet on each side for walkways and rails.

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