A project to replace a bridge in Clackamas County has dragged on for years, leaving residents and commuters in the area frustrated with traffic tie-ups.
The county broke ground on the project to replace the old Carver Bridge over the Clackamas River with a new, wider bridge in 2012.
Work on the bridge was going according to schedule, until a problem was discovered with a water line running under the bridge that wouldn't hold pressure and began leaking.
The bridge project eventually ended up being litigated in court, with the contractor suing Clackamas County, and the county in turn suing the Clackamas River Water Authority and another contractor over the faulty water line.
The various lawsuits were finally settled this past August, but the bridge remains incomplete, and plans to install a new traffic signal to help cars turn left off the bridge have stalled, with so far no relief for traffic congestion.
Dave Fuller, who drives across the bridge twice a day, said the traffic tie-ups extend his already lengthy commute.
"I sit in the traffic. I've seen cars backed up down Springwater half a mile," said Fuller.
According to the county, work to finish the bridge will begin in spring.
In the meantime, the bridge in its current condition will have to do.
"It still works," said Project Manager Stan Monte. "The speed is not limited. In actuality it's not causing any issues to the traveling public, for the bridge itself. Yes, it's an embarrassment that it's been sitting there so long."
Conte said the county is still working on a long-term solution to ease congestion in the area.
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