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Temporary bridge opens for reconstruction of Van Buren Bridge

Morgan Berryman
Construction of the Van Buren temporary bridge in September.

To allow for reconstruction of the Van Buren Bridge, the Oregon Department of Transportation is shifting eastbound traffic to a temporary bridge on Nov. 15.

The project to reconstruct the bridge began in May of this year, and Hamilton Construction has been in the process of building a temporary bridge that will allow travel eastbound so that the Van Buren Bridge can be improved without having to deal with traffic.

According to Mindy McCartt, Public Information Officer at the Oregon Department of Transportation, the old bridge is considered “seismically vulnerable,” and a project began for its removal and construction of a safe and earthquake ready new bridge.

The Oregon Department of Transportation website states this new temporary detour bridge will include a separate path that will be shared by those on foot or bicyclists, as well as a temporary signal at NW Van Buren Ave. and SW 1st St.

For one block in each direction of NW Van Buren Ave. along SW 1st St., ODOT will allow only one-way traffic.

McCartt mentioned that the new temporary bridge will be one lane only and that the “construction of the new permanent bridge will begin in early 2024 and will continue through most of 2025.”

Traffic will be moved onto the new permanent Van Buren Bridge in late spring or early summer of 2025, according to McCartt.

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