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Springbrook Road will close for reconstruction
Progress on the first phase of the Newberg-Dundee bypass won't come without a price, motorists will soon discover after it was announced last week that Springbrook Road will be closed for several months to allow for reconstruction of the major connector between Highway 99W and the bypass.
With work scheduled to start this week and last well into the summer, the road will be reconfigured to handle higher levels of traffic and include two travel lanes, a center turn lane, a "multi-use" path and new traffic signals in the stretch between Highway 99W and Highway 219. A new, larger city water line will be installed as well.
Work on Springbrook Road started more than a year ago and much progress has been made, Oregon Department of Transportation officials have said. Utilities have been relocated, the road bed widened and sound walls have been installed along much of the path. The work is being done by K & E Excavating, a Salem contractor.
While flaggers have successfully diverted traffic around construction for the past several months, this week the work will move into travel lanes and require complete closure in work zones 24 hours a day. Detours will be established and altered periodically as the work progresses up the road and much of the existing roadway is removed, rendering it unsafe for travel. Detour routes will include Hayes Street, Second Street, Fernwood Road and Highway 99W.
Access to driveways to residences and businesses along Springbrook Road, ODOT officials said, may also require driving outside regular travel lanes.
One business owner particularly concerned about ODOT's plan for Springbrook Road is Brian Francis, owner of 99W Drive-In. Although the entrance to the theater is on Highway 99W between Deborah and Springbrook roads, hundreds of cars exiting the facility traditionally spill out on to Springbrook Road.
"In the plan outlined below know that the 99W Drive-in opens for the 2017 season next week and the … ordinary exit for cars in the early morning is right down by our theatre exit gate located between the theatre and the PGE property and that is certainly on Springbrook Road," Francis said in a letter addressed to Lou Torres, ODOT spokesman for Region 2, in early March. "We don't want to see any construction flagger light, especially those night buster lights on our screen during theatre hours if construction is going on at night on Thursday, Friday Saturday or Sunday."
Torres researched the issue and responded to Francis on Thursday: "According to our contract, the contractor is not allowed to 'close or interfere with any facility access to or from the subject business'" from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. Thursday through Sunday through Nov. 15. "In short, you will be able to utilize the Springbrook Road exit during the height of your season."
Torres went on to say that discussions with the contractor revealed that crews will not be erecting any supplemental lighting that would interfere with the theater's operations, and that a paved driveway allowing egress from the theater was expected to be finished last week.
The bypass, the first of three phases, is scheduled to be completed by year's end, ODOT officials have said. Up until now the work has inconvenienced an unlucky few, with the greatest impact so far during the closure of Fernwood Road for a few weeks, but that will change as Springbrook Road is shut down.
"Now we're doing Springbrook and we have to rebuild it now, so now they're really going to see and feel the impacts of it a little bit, unfortunately, for a few months," Torres said in an interview in early March.
For more information and updates, visit the project website at www.newbergdundee.org.