SCOTTSBURG, Ore. -- The Oregon Department of Transportation will soon start the process of replacing a 90-year-old bridge on Highway 38 near Scottsburg with a brand-new bridge built from the ground up.
ODOT officials said the original bridge was built in the 1920s and is no longer fit for modern traffic.
They said the bridge sees heavy traffic because of commuters and tourists traveling to Reedsport, Coos Bay or Florence.
Currently, the bridge has two lanes, one going each direction. Officials said the bridge is currently 24 feet wide, which is very narrow for many drivers.
They said the new bridge will be expanded to be 44 feet wide, which will make it more comfortable for drivers.
They said they hope to add shoulders for pedestrians or bicyclists to go over it as well.
Many Scottsburg residents told KEZI 9 News that they’re excited to see the new bridge come to life because the current one can make drivers feel uneasy.
“The bridge is not safe the way it is, especially when you get a lot of heavy traffic on it,” said Linda Bowman, a Scottsburg resident.
However, others said they’re afraid the new bridge will increase accidents and speeding in the area.
“I’m afraid traffic it’s going to be 70 through there all the time,” said Shelly Ryan, another Scottsburg resident. “So we’re hoping they put up some type of control.”
ODOT officials said the bridge will take three years to complete and will cost more than $40 million.
They said they will keep the old bridge open until they complete the new one, and then tear the old one down.