FEMA contributing 75 percent to project necessitated by a severe storm a couple of years ago

FEMA is contributing 75 percent to the Milwaukie's Kellogg Creek Bridge replacement project that was necessitated by a severe storm a couple of years ago.

PHOTO BY: RAYMOND RENDLEMAN - Construction begins on the Kellogg Creek bridge, regrading the bank near the bridge and removing trees and other vegetation.The $2.61 million project will be funded with nearly $2 million in federal disaster relief funds.

Construction has begun on regrading the bank near the bridge and removing trees and other vegetation. Pile driving is expected to generate some concerns about the noise.

Milwaukie's contractor hopes to have the new bridge built by July 1, when the old bridge would be demolished. The existing bridge to the east of the new bridge will remain open until that time, but as a safety precaution, city officials are encouraging pedestrians to use the sidewalk on McLoughlin Boulevard to access the park.

Removal of the fish ladder was one of Milwaukie's top priorities last year, but its removal isn't included in this project. City officials say its removal likely would be part of work involving the removal of Kellogg Dam, if that project is ever executed after experiencing obstacles from ODOT.

As previously reported, Mayor Mark Gamba said that the storm and resulting bridge replacement was the result of climate changes that have caused increasingly severe weather events. In light of the FEMA grants, Gamba said he was grateful for the contribution from the federal government, but pointed out that taxpayers ultimately will pay for the costs of global warming no matter how the costs are divided.

"The important point is that climate change is going to cost society," Gamba said.

Meanwhile, Milwaukie Engineering Director Chuck Eaton said that the 42nd Avenue project was behind schedule to be completed by Thanksgiving. Work is underway, and the city is hopeful that the project will be completed in December.

"It gives us some cause for concern that he's behind schedule," Eaton said of the contractor.

If the ground temperature gets below 42 degrees, the contractor won't be able to lay concrete.

"Once December happens, it's too risky," Eaton said.

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