EUGENE, Ore. — The largest bridge construction under way in the state of Oregon is happening right in our own backyard.
It’s been well more than a year since work started on the new I-5 Willamette River Bridge.
ODOT reps say the $204 million project is in full swing right now, and things are busy on either end as crews work to complete the bridge as scheduled.
As you walk down to the construction zone, you can see that crews are working on a myriad of things to get this bridge up and running.
On one end crews are doing some pile-driving to get the falsework up to allow them to build the foundation of the bridge. On the other end where that’s already done, workers are pouring the concrete to actually form the bridge.
“It really is a signature bridge for the Eugene and Springfield communities. It was constructed with a lot of public participation, a lot of public guidance and a lot of public involvement. So, it really is the community’s bridge,” said Rick Little, ODOT Public Information Officer.
While construction is fairly recent, the whole thing really got its start in 2002. That’s when ODOT went and inspected all the bridges in the state for cracks and deficiencies.
ODOT says it anticipates putting traffic on the new northbound bridge by late next year. But it will still have a few enhancements that need to be done around the bridge, which will go into 2014.