HASSO HERING

A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

On Hwy. 34 to the coast: Closure postponed

Written July 16th, 2021 by Hasso Hering

Right about here on the Alsea Highway, ODOT plans to replace the bridge over Maltby Creek. (This is a screen grab from a 2018 video on the occasion of Oregon 34 being named a scenic byway.)

In case you’ve been paying attention to ODOT’s plans for a bridge project on Highway 34 to Waldport, you may want to know that the road closure has been postponed until the week after Labor Day.

Just yesterday, the department’s highway division reminded people via email that the work to replace the timber deck on the bridge across Maltby Creek would start this month and require a full road closure over the weekend from July 23 through the morning of July 26.

A few hours later the agency issued a new construction alert: “Unfortunately needed materials didn’t arrive on schedule, so the work had to be delayed. We now anticipate work the weekend after Labor day with a full closure of the road and 24-hour flagging.”

The bridge is at milepost 35.6, about four and a half miles west of Alsea.

Three years ago, when ODOT had just designated Highway 34 between Philomath and Waldport as a scenic byway, I took a video driving east toward Alsea from about five miles out. The screen shot above is from that video just before we passed milepost 36, so I’m surmising that it shows the work area even though it’s hard to tell there’s a bridge there, much less one with a timber deck.

According to the new plan announced by ODOT yesterday, expect single-lane traffic there starting at 7 a.m. Friday, Sept. 10. Then, both lanes across the bridge will be closed Saturday through Sunday, Sept. 11-12.

If we want to get to the coast and back to the mid-valley that weekend, let’s remember to take U.S. 20.

That’s unless the schedule changes again. (hh)





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