Beginning at 8 a.m. on Saturday, February 2, U.S. 101 Business will be closed to all traffic in both directions at the Lewis and Clark River Bridge (milepost 4.67 to 4.83) for up to 10 days for bridge geotechnical exploration work. The estimated completion date for this work is Feb. 13, 2013.
Traffic can use U.S. 101 and OR 202 as a detour around the closure. Variable message signs will be posted at key highway locations warning motorists of the planned closure.
This work is part of a much larger project that will replace and repair key parts of the bridge beginning in 2014. The bridge, which was constructed in 1924, will undergo an extensive renovation that will include replacing the west bridge approach, repairing the east bridge approach and painting of the steel on the bridge. The estimated cost of the project is $18 million.
The Lewis and Clark River Bridge is the only remaining single leaf bascule drawbridge in Oregon. A bascule drawbridge uses a counterweight that balances the span or "leaf" throughout the entire upswing in providing clearance for boat traffic.
Both approach spans were constructed with untreated cedar timber and are showing substantial deterioration and in need of replacement or repair. It is likely that the bridge will need to be closed during construction.