By Nha Nguyen
HIGHWAY 58, Ore. — The Oregon Department of Transportation is getting ready for some major construction on Highway 58.
Starting the night of June 4, ODOT crews will completely close the section of the Willamette Highway at the Salt Creek Tunnel (milepost 56) in order to repair and modernize the historic tunnel.
The tunnel was built in 1939 and needs some serious repairs.
ODOT crews will fill cracks in the liner and lower the floor.
They’ll also replace old viaducts or bridges underneath the tunnel so freight weight won’t be limited.
“If we restrict the freight along this corridor, it will have a severe economic impact both to the communities near this corridor but also to the state economy,” said ODOT spokesperson Rick Little.
Drivers should expect 20 minute delays all summer into mid-October.
The road will be back open Friday, June 8 to one lane of traffic for the weekend, but closures will begin again on Monday, June 11.
Then roads will only be open weekends and Monday through Thursday 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Outside of those hours, ODOT crews are encouraging travelers to take another route across the Cascades.