Saturday, October 23, 2004

Lake Oswego: South Shore Boulevard closure for bridge repair

LAKE OSWEGO - Slated for replacement in the coming year, the deficient bridge over the Oswego Canal on South Shore Boulevard will be the topic of a public open house meeting and the cause of lane closures next week.

Starting next Tuesday, October 26, three days of drilling through the bridge deck and into the canal bottom will require closure of the sidewalk and westbound lane of traffic on the bridge between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. The drilling will yield valuable information about the depth and stability of bedrock, upon which contractors will construct the new bridge.

Geo Tech Explorations of Tualatin will conduct the work, and all efforts will be made to ensure the protection of water quality and public safety. Flaggers will be on hand to direct traffic. While there will be some related noise, the rotary drill being used is not particularly loud and should not cause disruptions for nearby residents.

You can learn more about the full project timeline and preferred concepts for the new bridge at a public open house on October 28, from 6 to 8 p.m., in the gymnasium at Bryant Elementary. A public steering committee has been providing guidance and feedback to the City's contract bridge engineers during the initial design phases, and this event will provide an opportunity for the public to see what plans are in the works.

With state funds provided during the last legislative session, the preliminary project schedule calls for the design phase to be underway in November, with selection of a construction contractor by May 2005. Construction could begin as early as June 2005, with the bridge opening to traffic before the end of the year. During much of the demolition and construction work next year, the crossing will be closed completely, and South Shore Boulevard will be rerouted via detours.

South Shore Boulevard was closed on December 10, 2002, between Canal Circle and Kelok Road, after a resident noticed the bridge was failing. Separated joints, obvious grade deflection, and surface water ponding on the bridge led City staff to request an immediate closure and temporary fix for the crumbling support pilings. Since then, another temporary solution was instituted when worsening conditions were discovered.

For more information about the Oswego Canal Bridge on South Shore Boulevard, call the Engineering Department at 503-635-0270.