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Oregon Department of Transportation officials are urging motorists to learn more about the closures and plan ahead.

KOIN 6 NEWS - Freeway traffic in the Portland area.Freeway closures for construction on I-84 begin Sunday night and will likely wreak havoc on the commute in the Portland metro area until the end of summer.

The I-5 southbound ramp to I-84 eastbound will be closed for two weeks beginning at 10 p.m. on Sunday, July 8. It will be followed by other ramp closures.

Oregon Department of Transportation officials are urging motorists to learn more about the closures and plan ahead. They could cause delays of up to three hours and backups that can be followed all the way to the Columbia Gorge.

The construction could affect more than just commuters. Lt. Damon Simmons with Portland Fire and Rescue said they're preparing, as well, adding that it could slow down their response times. Usually during construction there is always one lane free for emergency vehicles, according to Simmons. But not this time. The project will tear out the entire ramp at once.

Simmons said they'll have to take local streets to get around construction, though those are also expected to be congested.

"To get to these calls quickly and then it's just going to be pushing through traffic and looking for people to move to the right to get to these calls quickly," Simmons said.

Three bridges that connect the two interstates need structural repair and resurfacing. During the closure, Hamilton Construction will replace 16 bridge joints that link  the ramps, remove the existing concrete, performing repairs to metal below the concrete surface and placing new concrete. As the concrete cures, traffic cannot use the ramp.

The scheduled closures are:

• 10 p.m. Sunday, July 8 to 5 a.m. Monday, July 23: I-5 southbound ramp to I-84 eastbound closed

• 10 p.m. Wednesday, July 25 to 5 a.m. Monday, Aug. 6: I-84 westbound to I-5 northbound closed

• 10 p.m. Friday, July 27 to 5 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 2: Only one lane open on I-84 westbound from Lloyd Center to I-5. The far left lane will remain open during this period.

• 10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 17 to 5 a.m. Monday, Aug. 27: I-84 westbound to I-5 southbound closed leaving only one lane of I-84 westbound open from Lloyd Center to I-5. The far right lane will remain open during this period.

You can learn more at tinyurl.com/y7pha63f.

KOIN 6 News is a news partner of the Portland Tribune.

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