EDDYVILLE, Ore. – One lane is closed on Highway 20 near Eddyville after erosion along the Yaquina River chipped away at an embankment near the roadway.
The Oregon Department of Transportation says the erosion only affected the shoulder of the eastbound lane, but ODOT will repair the embankment before opening the lane back up for traffic.
“The Yaquina River took an awful lot of snow melt and some pretty heavy rains in a short amount of time and became pretty high and very forceful,” said Rick Little, the spokesperson for ODOT. “We discovered the erosion yesterday and we took immediate action and restricted the lane at that location.”
The eastbound lane of traffic is closed for about a quarter mile stretch approximately four miles west of Eddyville.
ODOT says the foundation of the road is still solid.
“It was affected by the river at the river level, which allowed all the soil above that point to sluff off,” Little said. “We didn’t lose any pavement. It hasn’t eroded back beyond the edge of the pavement, but it has weakened the shoulder to where we feel we need to close that lane.”
ODOT says there is no concern that the erosion would eat away at the foundation underneath the roadway.
“It hasn’t affected it to the point where any of asphalt on the shoulder has broken off,” Little said. “So the precautions we’re taking now are purely for the safety of eastbound motorists.”
Little says erosion in the area isn’t common, but this is not the first time it has happened.
“About two miles west of this spot, we had a similar but actually worse condition develop with erosion and we were able to fix it within just a few days after discovery.”
Flaggers are on site working around the clock so traffic can still get through in both directions. ODOT hired a Newport-based contractor on Thursday, Road and Driveway Company, to make the repairs. Little says the bid came in at $34,641.
“They’ll excavate the part that’s eroded and around it,” he said. “And they will rebuild that with rock and soil.”
Little says crews will start construction at 7:00 Friday morning to rebuild the embankment. He says he hopes construction will be done by the end of the weekend. In the meantime, drivers can expect 5-20 minute delays in the area.