Highway 20 project still sputtering

| Print |  Email
Sunday, June 01, 2008

CORVALLIS Construction on a stalled $150 million effort to straighten Highway 20 between Newport and Corvallis could be inching forward. But even if the state and the project’s contractors can agree on changes for the contentious project, the coastal region’s narrow June-to-August construction window would limit the work that could be done this year.

That would push the possible finish date for the state’s largest publicly funded highway project back two years to 2011.

Highway 20 is notoriously dangerous as it winds through the Coast Range. The 10-mile stretch that the project will tackle saw 38 accidents in 2006 alone. Since 2002, the most dangerous three miles within that section has had an accident rate three to four times higher than the statewide average for accidents on rural highways, according to ODOT data.

Some types of semi trucks are prohibited on the highway in its current narrow, winding and dangerous state, which has a direct impact on coastal lumber companies and other shippers such as grocery stores. The project will create seven new miles of road and eight new bridges. It has also created a lot of controversy.

In 2006, heavy rains washed dirt and debris from recently cleared hills into streams and rivers designated as spawning grounds for sensitive fish species. The state’s Department of Environmental Quality came down hard, fining lead contractor Granite Construction $240,000 and ODOT $90,000.

Granite and the state negotiated a halt on the bungled project and have spent the last year negotiating how to mitigate 11 potential landslide areas that could collapse during construction. Those talks hopefully will wrap up this month, says ODOT spokesman Joe Harwood.

“We’re cautious,” he says of the end of negotiation. “But yes, we’re also optimistic.”

ABRAHAM HYATT
Hwy20Map.png

Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

More Articles

Growing a mobility cluster

News
Friday, October 31, 2014
0414 bikes bd2f6052BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Why are there so few transportation startups in Portland?  The city’s leadership in bike, transit and pedestrian transportation has been well-documented.  But that was then — when government and nonprofits paved the way for a new, less auto centric way of life.


Read more...

The 100 Best Companies survey is open

News
Friday, October 24, 2014

100-best-logo-2015 500pxw-1How does your workplace stack up against competitors? How can you improve workplace practices to help recruit and retain employees? Find out by taking our 100 Best Companies to Work for in Oregon survey!


Read more...

Two Sides of the Coin

Contributed Blogs
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
22 twosidesBY JASON NORRIS

Historically, when the leaves fall, so do the markets. This year, earnings, Europe, energy and Ebola have in common? Beyond alliteration, they are four factors that the investors are pointing to for this year’s seasonal volatility.


Read more...

Legislative Preview: A Shifting Balance

January-Powerbook 2015
Thursday, December 11, 2014
BY APRIL STREETER

Democratic gains pave the way for a revival of environment and labor bills as revenue reform languishes.


Read more...

Shuffling the Deck

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY JON BELL

Oregon tribes still bet on casinos.


Read more...

Free Falling

Contributed Blogs
Thursday, December 18, 2014
121714-oilprice-thumbBY JASON NORRIS | OB CONTRIBUTOR

The implosion of the energy complex: The best thing for low oil prices is low oil prices.


Read more...

Corner Office: Timothy Mitchell

January-Powerbook 2015
Saturday, December 13, 2014

A look-in on the life of Norris & Stevens' president.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS