Transportation — Crews will continue driving piling for bridge supports for the next two weeks at the western terminus of the bypass route

By Heather DeRosa, Graphic news intern

As construction continues on the Newberg-Dundee bypass, those who live near the thoroughfare’s Dundee section should expect to hear of its progress through the din of machinery erecting large steel bridge footings.

“Neighbors will hear noise from the `pile driving’ or pounding of the foundation supports deep into the soil,” said a press release from the Oregon Department of Transportation. “The process is loud, but noise will not be continuous during those weeks.”

Estimates for how loud construction will be are unclear.

“It’s hard to tell,” said ODOT District 2 spokesmen Lou Torres. “It could be noticeable to those close to the pile driving.”

The location of the construction noise will occur mostly near Parks and Edwards drives, the press release said.

The pile driving phase of the project should last about three weeks, and Monday through Friday during the day time. This phase began the first week of December, and can be expected to last through most of the month.

“There will be issues with noise over the next two to three years,” Torres said. “The noise will be in times that are least inconvenient to people.”

This phase of the bypass will be a three-year long project, with about a dozen bridges being built through out the construction area.

According to Torres, the next phase after the pile driving is completed is to construct stone embankments near the site. Dundee citizens can expect a lot of stone to be brought in for the embankments.

With construction expected to continue for the next two to three years, Dundee residents can expect construction and noise to continue until 2016, when the first phase of the bypass is expected to be completed.

“The Newberg-Dundee Bypass is a controlled-access expressway that will significantly reduce traffic congestion on Highway 99W and improve livability and traffic flow in the surrounding communities,” according to ODOT’s website. “Phase 1 will extend four miles from Highway 219/Wilsonville Road to Highway 99W south of Dundee, with one travel lane in each direction.”

The full bypass will extend 11.5 miles, spanning four lanes, to help ease the current bottleneck of Highway 99W through Newberg and Dundee, taking traffic around the two cities, instead of directly through them.

As for aesthetics, a wavy relief pattern on the guardrails and sloping metal screening are intended to look similar to a meandering river and rolling hills will be a consistent design on 10 or more bridges. A sound barrier will also be in place to minimize road noise for those who live near the half-mile stretch near 11th street and Wynooski Road in south Newberg.

With an estimated price tag of $262 million, only the first phase has been funded.

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