Oregon Coast Road Update: Tunnel Open, Bridge Work Resumes
(Cannon Beach, Oregon) – The coast is mostly clear – at least the road to the north coast is. Tunnel closures on Highway 26 stopped in late June, but work on two bridges close to the Highway 101 junction has resumed (above: Seaside).
The last overnight closure of the Dennis L. Edwards Tunnel on Highway 26 was on June 24. Some work was still being done with flaggers periodically stopping traffic during the day and night until this past weekend, but that has now ceased as well.
The tunnel closed every weeknight since January as a contractor worked to replace tunnel lining and improve drainage and lighting. During the overnight closures, motorists used a detour adding 25 minutes to their commutes.
According to ODOT, there are no more delays at the tunnel, but traffic delays may still be an issue close to Seaside and Cannon Beach because of work on the bridges at Volmer Creek and Johnson Creek.
Starting Sunday, July 10, flaggers will be regulating traffic along these spots, as construction on the two bridges will require one lane traffic, 24 hours a day. ODOT is working to keep the weekends free of this however.
Crews are working on quickly replacing the two bridges. Both are within four miles of the junction for Highway 101 and Highway 26. Volmer Creek is at milepost 2.1 and Johnson Creek is at milepost 3.4.
“We are doing our very best to limit any delays and inconveniences to motorists by using rapid bridge replacement techniques and not closing lanes to weekend traffic,” said Paul Christiansen, Project Manager in Astoria. “However, this project is using unusual construction techniques and there are some unknowns, including weather variability, that make it possible that we don’t get the all lanes open by 3 p.m. on Friday.”
Work on these bridges started earlier in the year, but a larger portion could not begin until July because of environmental regulations in the area.
Christiansen said some delays could be up to 20 minutes, and traffic and longer delays could happen on Friday.
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