Plans to fix Beltline from Delta Highway to River Road on hold due to limited funding

Oregon Department of Transportation officials say that the project will most likely be completed in phases.

Posted: Mar 22, 2021 6:48 PM
Updated: Mar 22, 2021 6:49 PM

EUGENE, Ore.-- Plans to repair the Beltline highway that goes from Delta Highway to River Road have been in the talks since 2014. Oregon Department of Transportation suggested three different concepts in a facility plan, but no construction has started yet.

Molly Cary is the transportation project manager for this area, and she said that due to limited funding no crews have been in the works yet.

Cary said that a project of this size would cost around $300 million. That's almost half of the annual budget ODOT uses for the highway division.

"It's more likely we'll be able to secure money to replace the Willamette River bridges. Period. Add the auxilary lanes. Period. Do additional work on the Delta interchange. Period," said Cary. "It's more likely we'll be able to secure funding to fix a piece than a whole."

Drivers told KEZI that the Beltline is in urgent need of a repair.

"It's a nightmare. It's always been a nightmare. 4 o'clock, it's always on a standstill," Eugene resident Bridget Larson said. "Eugene is growing and there's so many more housing developments in the North Gilham and River Road area. Traffic is only going to get worse in my opinion."

"My wife was in a really, really bad accident there," said Eugene resident Bennie Garnett.

Currently, the project is in the environmental study phase to assess impacts to the area.

However, the Delta Interchange project is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

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