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Delays in Winchester Improvement Project could extend closures

Officials say one of the key components of project may be delayed two weeks, which could cause longer road closures in the area.

Posted: Oct 30, 2019 7:16 PM

WINCHESTER, Ore. -- Construction on Old Highway 99 North in Winchester is halfway finished, according to officials from Douglas County Public Works, but a key component of the project could be delayed for two weeks.

This delay could cause longer road closures in the area, officials said.

RELATED: MAJOR ROAD IMPROVEMENTS COMING TO OLD HWY 99 NORTH

The Winchester Improvement Project will add sidewalks, bike lanes and two pedestrian bridges on the north and south side of town.

Officials said work on the south pedestrian bridge closed Old Highway 99 North between Taft Drive and Virgia Lane in August. They say they finished construction and opened the road in September.

Shortly after, officials said they started construction on the north pedestrian bridge and closed Old Highway 99 North between Pioneer Way and Page Road. They said construction was supposed to conclude at the end of October, but it was delayed due to weather and construction scheduling.

“Unfortunately what happens within that closure date, we have schedule delays,” said Josh Heacock, the engineering and construction manager for Douglas County Public Works. “Then we have to prolong the closure.”

Some local businesses said the construction is drawing customers away from them.

“I’m working twice the hours just to try and get people back in here and get things built up,” said Robin Shoufler, the owner of the Del Ray Café in Winchester. “The staff has been very patient. It’s been horrible.”

Officials said the project started in May, and the entire project is scheduled to finish on Dec. 31.

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