The Arch Bridge spanning the Willamette River between Oregon City and West Linn has been closed for nearly two years.
That's about to change.
Crews are finishing up construction on the 90-year-old bridge, which is set to reopen Oct. 15. The bridge was closed to traffic on Jan. 15, 2011.
"It's a community icon," said Wayne Statler, Oregon Department of Transportation project manager. "People love this bridge just as much as I do."
Statler said the bridge has undergone a number of upgrades including improved lighting, crash safety enhancements and upgraded seismic capabilities.
The Arch Bridge is a steel bridge covered with concrete. As part of the project, workers removed the concrete, repaired the steel where necessary and then put the concrete back on.
The result is a bridge that should look basically the same as it always has. Because it's on the National Register of Historic Places, crews couldn't do much to change it anyway.
"I'm sorry to tell you it's just as narrow as it was before," Statler said.
This was the first major renovation done on the bridge since it was built. The construction contract for the project was $10.6 million.
The Willamette Falls Festival that runs from Oct. 12 to Oct. 14 will include festivities on both ends of the bridge, along with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Oct. 14, the day before the bridge reopens to traffic.
More than 13,500 vehicles used the bridge on average per day, along with hundreds of pedestrians and cyclists.
Statler said the repairs done to the bridge will bring it back to the strength it had when it was first built.
"It's lasted 90 years and it's got 100 years to go," he said.
Copyright 2012 KPTV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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