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Trunnion repair work won't take place Sept 12-20 to keep fire evacuation traffic flowing.

COURTESY: ODOT - The I-5 bridge lane closure has been postpoined due to Oreogn's wildfire emergency. Long planned for Sept. 12-20, 2020, the closure for maintennace work will be rescehduled.

The Interstate Bridge lane closure that has long been planned for Sept. 12 to Sept. 20 has been postponed, the Oregon Department of Transportation said late Thursday, Sept. 10.

The northbound span of the bridge had been set to close 12:01 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 12, to allow for the replacement of trunnions, which help lift the bridge span when large ships come through on the Columbia River underneath Interstate 5.

As hundreds of thousands of Oregonians are being evacuated because of wildfires, ODOT is keeping this key bridge between Portland and Vancouver, Washington, at full capacity.

"This closure would have created additional congestion and right now we need to keep the highways moving for evacuees and emergency responders," said Rian Windsheimer, ODOT manager for the Portland area.

With one side of the bridge closed for the repairs, two-way traffic was going to share three lanes, which was expected to cause long delays.

ODOT said it will make a new schedule with the contractors and the U.S. Coast Guard for the $13 million project.

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