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Nighttime blasting begins next week on Roberts Mountain

4:56 PM · Aug 6, 2019

(ODOT Release) Interstate 5 motorists traveling between Tri City and Winchester can expect intermittent nighttime delays the next three months due to blasting work on Roberts Mountain. Kerr Contractors of Woodburn are scheduled to begin blasting as early as Tuesday evening, August 13. The work will usually involve one underground detonation a night, sometime between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. Excavation may require a handful of blasts each week. Rolling slowdowns will be used to create a gap in traffic during the blasting work. Most traffic delays will be about 10-20 minutes. In the southbound direction, pilot cars will lead I-5 traffic on a low-speed approach from the Winchester area to Roberts Mountain (milepost 129-118). Flaggers will hold traffic at each southbound on-ramp from Edenbower Blvd. (Exit 127) to the Oregon 42/Winston interchange (Exit 119). Northbound rolling slowdowns will begin in Tri City (milepost 103), with flaggers holding on-ramp traffic at every interchange from Myrtle Creek/Weaver Road (Exit 106) to Clarks Branch Road (Exit 113). Roadside blasting typically produces noise and clouds of dust, but little flying debris. The nearby travel lanes are cleared as a safety precaution. The Roberts Mountain blasting work will enable Kerr to excavate the slope on the west side of I-5 and construct a climbing lane on both the northbound and southbound approaches to the pass. Construction on the $26 million project began this spring and is scheduled to be completed by summer 2021.

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