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ODOT working on solution after Amazon Creek becomes 'dumping site'

Community members are demanding answers after the Amazon Creek has been turned from a popular waterway into an open dump.

Posted: Aug 22, 2019 9:42 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- Community members are demanding answers after Amazon Creek has been turned from a popular waterway into an open dump.

Trash has covered the area on West 11th Avenue under the bridge for months. 

Now, people say hazardous materials are being dumped into the creek.

"It’s beyond just being a campground. This is a dumping site, and that’s the difference. Camping is different than dumping all the garbage and debris that you have that is toxic into a waterway that is a community waterway, and that is the big problem,” Veneta resident Debbie Gilliam said.

The Oregon Department of Transportation is in charge of the land.

Angela Beers Seydel with ODOT says they're developing a long-term solution.

“That's in process right now, where there will be some structural supports underneath the bridge to limit access under there and some physical barriers with rocks and boulders and such to make it less appealing for somebody to stay there, and hopefully that will help,” Seydel said.

Seydel says they don't have a timeline on when that will be done, but it will be in the near future.

She says they prioritize areas where people are building fires -- especially during fire season.

Community members say they have seen smoke coming from underneath the bridge from a campfire.

Officials with ODOT say once they can get a crew out to that specific area, they will take care of the mess.

However, community members say it is only a matter of time before it's trashed again, and they're hopeful the barriers will be put up before that can happen.

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