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Home arrow News arrow Local News arrow Hurricane Creek Road to get makeover

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Hurricane Creek Road to get makeover

Asphalt will be torn up and the road will be gravel until September when the entire re-construction part of the project is paved 

Construction on Hurricane Creek Road from Enterprise to Joseph starts June 3 and is scheduled to run through November.

The project is four plus years in the planning. The county road department has worked closely with the state to best use $5 million from Oregon’s Jobs and Transportation Act, a funding source that was adopted by the 2009 Legislature.

Three years ago, when representatives from Oregon Department of Transportation met with residents at the Hurricane Creek Grange, construction was scheduled to begin April 2012, but the state needed more time to work out easements and property purchases along the route.

The design phase and environmental analysis completed, Kerr Contractors of Woodburn won the construction bid for just under $2.8 million.

John Linder of the department of transportation said at a public meeting Monday night at Cloverleaf Hall that he’s been working for several months with a survey crew and will be the contact person during this summer’s construction.

Brandon Adams of Kerr said the traffic on Hurricane Creek will be one lane going south in the construction zone, but they will make allowances for farmers moving tractors and equipment from one field to another.

Adams said the asphalt from Enterprise to Hurricane Creek Grange will be torn up and the road will be gravel until September when the entire re-construction part of the project is paved.

From the Hurricane Creek bridge to Joseph the road will be widened and asphalt will be overlayed on top of the existing road as it is not in bad shape as the first phase.

Because the bid came in as low as it did, there was money to extend the project from Hurricane Creek bridge to Joseph, said Jay Roundtree of the department of transportation.

Except for the Hurricane Creek Bridge, the entire route will have four foot shoulders on each side of the road and fog lines.

Another change will be the access to the Hurricane Creek trailhead, which is now a Y with access from both directions. It will become a T to comply with federal regulations, Linder said.

The issues with Hurricane Creek Road that prompted the reconstruction were frost heaves and a couple very sharp curves. The frost heaves will be dug out, Linder said, and fabric called geo-grid will be laid down to prevent future problems.

“We’ve been very successful getting frost heave out of Tollgate (Highway 204) and it’s held up pretty well.”

The sharpest of the corners are being straightened out, which should reduce the amount of accidents.

Construction hours will be 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Adams said, and at the end of the day both lanes will be open.

Joseph Mayor Dennis Sands asked what the speed limit would be during construction. Linder said 35 mph. After the project is completed, the posted speed limits along the route will remain the same as they are
now.

Adams was asked what was going to be done with the asphalt when it’s removed from the road. He said 6,000 tons of it will go back into the new asphalt, and the remainder will be used as fill for the sub-base.

He said to combat dust while the road is gravel, water trucks will be spraying water during the day.

Jay Roundtree was asked about how construction would affect driveways, and he said the 128 approaches will be kept open. Mail delivery will be uninterrupted, too, but boxes may be moved a few feet during construction.

County Commissioner Susan Roberts suggested that Kerr be aware that Chief Joseph Days Rodeo is the end of July and traffic on the Joseph end of the road will be congested and used more often at night after the rodeos.

Adams said Kerr is looking for help from local subcontractors, especially drivers with trucks and pup trailers. If anyone is interested, call the commissioner’s office at 541-426-4543.

Roberts also offered the county’s website to post the construction schedule and updates on the progress of the project.

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