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Oregon 38 Traffic Moves Onto New Scottsburg Bridge

12:55 AM · May 28, 2022

The new Scottsburg Bridge is open, even if it’s not quite finished. The bridge, which spans the Umpqua River 16 miles east of Reedsport, was opened to a single lane of traffic at 7:20 a.m. today. Over the next month, prime contractor Hamilton Construction will widen the northeast approach to the bridge with the goal of opening a second lane in July. Oregon 38 motorists should watch for flaggers or automated flagging machines in the work zone. Most delays will be brief. Construction on the bridge replacement project began in February 2020 and most work, including the removal of the old bridge and a pair of work platforms, is scheduled to be completed by the end of summer. The original Umpqua River Bridge opened in 1929, when vehicles were smaller and speeds lower. In recent years, the bridge has been hit several times by trucks and recreational vehicles navigating the tight corners at each end. A crash in April 2017 required a three-day bridge closure for emergency repairs. In the summer of 2017 the Oregon Legislature passed the Keep Oregon Moving Act (House Bill 2017), which provided nearly $40 million in funding for a new bridge in Scottsburg. Oregon 38 is a critical freight and evacuation route connecting Interstate 5 with the southern Oregon Coast. Over the past 20 years, ODOT has replaced several aging bridges along the Umpqua Highway, including bridges in Elkton and on both ends of the Elk Creek tunnel. When completed, the new bridge will provide two 12-foot travel lanes and wide shoulders for pedestrians and bicycles. The new bridge alignment will straighten the curves at both ends of the bridge. Via Oregon Department of Transportation