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Spring breakers urged to use caution on Oregon bridges

By Shelley Kurtz

WALTON AREA, Ore. – The road to the Oregon coast, from the valley, may be a little slow at times. This may be a particular problem for those headed to the coast for spring break, next week. It seems, the construction season is already underway on Highway 126 from Eugene to Florence.

It's down to one lane of traffic for the section of roadway just west of Walton. Subcontractors are on-site replacing guard rails, repaving the roadway and reinforcing and widening seven bridges.

Brent Pierson, a construction specialist with the Oregon Department of Transportation says, on the seven narrow bridges, they've removed the curb and the rail on each side. That will add about a foot and a half to the width of the road, allowing some of the wider loads to drive safely over the crossing.

Crews are working 24 hour days, seven days a week to get to work done. The $2.1 million dollar project will extend the life of the roadway by about 20 years. However, if you're thinking of taking a 'quick trip' to the coast, think again. At times, it will be a little slow ... and there will be 10 to 15 minute waits.

The work is right on schedule. Pierson says, the project in the Walton area should completed by late April.