Green Bridge project a go


Of the News-Register

SHERIDAN — In the case of Sheridan’s downtown Green Bridge project, the third time turned out to be the charm. After the contractor canceled out of pre-construction meetings twice, the third meeting finally took place, officially launching the project.

Postponement of the pre-con meeting caused concern the work would be delayed as a result. Not so, said Yamhill County Public Works Director John Phelan.

The contractor, Wildish Standard Paving Company of Eugene, remains obligated to complete the project by Dec. 31, 2013, he said. Going beyond that date would subject the firm to $800 a day in penalties.

Phelan said there an official start date was not established in the contract, only an official end date. Although work could have begun as early as last fall, it's up to the winning bidder to establish the work schedule on public works projects like this one, he said.

Guy Hakanson of the Oregon Bridge Engineering Company, which is handling the design work, said, “The schedule presented was conceptual in nature and it was never promised that work would start on any particular date."

In fact, he said, “The project was originally scheduled for construction in 2015. Through the efforts of the county and ODOT, the project will now be constructed in 2013, fully two years ahead of schedule. Without question, this project has been advanced to construction in a very timely manner.”

The city is also concerned about possible conflicts between the bridge work and three key June events — the Sheridan Days community festival, the Sheridan Mud Drags and high school graduation.

Bob Thompson, an OBEC engineer designated to act as project manager, said everyone involved in the project understands the importance of those events to the community. He said they plan to cease work the first 16 days of June to accommodate them.

That's good news to City Manager Frank Sheridan, who said he's been fielding a lot of concerns. “The biggest impact of this will be during the time we’re down to a single lane of traffic on the bridge,” he said.

In late February and early March, residents will begin to see temporary signs, signals, barriers and striping appearing.

Tree removal and erosion control measures will follow. Then concrete repair work will begin, taking advantage of generally favorable early spring weather.

Traffic on Bridge Street will be restricted to one lane from Highway 99B to Harney Street from mid-March through August, Phelan said. Traffic will be controlled by flaggers and temporary traffic signals, he said.

Phelan said delays to motorists should be minor. The sidewalk will remain open during construction, he said.

One full-day bridge closure is anticipated in early August to coordinate repairs. Public access to the South Yamhill River via the Chester Moore Park will be closed during construction.

“The rehabilitation work is intended to preserve the integrity and extend the life of this 80-year-old historic steel-truss bridge," Phelan said. "It will include lead paint removal and repainting, a seismic/earthquake retrofit, a resurfaced bridge deck and sidewalks, pedestrian handrail repairs, new traffic barriers, new lighting and installation of a new storm drain system.”

Progress will be updated regularly at www.sheridangreenbridge.org , officials promise.

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