Hiccup: Silverton Road bridge work might be delayed

April 2021 Posted in News
Logs can be seen from the trees that were felled for utility line relocation on the Silverton Road bridge over the Little Pudding River. The bridge is being replaced and there will be detours around the work for approximately seven months starting about May 1. James Day

Logs can be seen from the trees that were felled for utility line relocation on the Silverton Road bridge over the Little Pudding River. The bridge is being replaced and there will be detours around the work for approximately seven months starting about May 1. James Day

By James Day

The Marion County work on the bridge over the Little Pudding River between Silverton and Salem has been delayed slightly.

County officials originally hoped that the detours required for the lengthy project would be in place by May 1. But a shortage of poles for the project’s temporary signal lights is making that date more of a moving target, said Steve Preszler, project manager with the county.

The problem is simple, Preszler said: February’s ice storm has led to a shortage of poles.

“At this point we can’t commit to a closure any earlier than May, but we are hoping to beat that date if suppliers can come through with the poles earlier,” Preszler told Our Town.

In recent weeks crews have been felling trees at the site between 64th and 60th streets to allow Portland General Electric to prep for their utility line relocation work, Preszler said.

Marion County is replacing the “structurally deficient and functionally obsolete” bridge over the Little Pudding River in a $6.1 million project that will force the closure of Silverton Road road 24 hours per day, seven days a week for approximately seven months.

The bridge is set to be complete and the road opened by Thanksgiving, Preszler said, with final paving and wall work to be completed in the spring of 2022 after any initial roadway settlement might occur. The final paving and wall work will not require closing the road.

Once work begins Silverton Road will be closed to through traffic at Howell Prairie Road on the east side and Cordon Road on the west. Key detour routes that motorists will use are Sunnyview Road and Hazelgreen. 

The county also is adding temporary traffic signals at some locations and tweaking existing ones.

The new lights will be installed at Hazelgreen and Cordon Road and at Howell Prairie and Silverton Road. The county also will adjust the timing of existing signals at the Cordon Road intersections with Sunnyview Road and Silverton Road. In addition, a right turn lane has been added to make it easier for motorists to turn from Hazelgreen onto Howell Prairie.

The federal government is paying for nearly 90% of the $6.1 million cost, with Marion County funds accounting for the remainder. 

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