First bypass contract going out for bid May 2
That phase will consist of one controlled-access travel lane in each direction between the Highway 219 intersection in Newberg and the Niederberger Road intersection in Dundee, four miles to the south.
The first contract is scheduled to go out to bid May 2, covering primarily development of stone embankments to serve as bridge supports. In all, the project calls for about a dozen bridges to take the bypass across creeks, wetlands, railroads or existing roads.
“We are expecting ground to settle, and we want that settlement to happen before the bridges are constructed,” said Project Leader Kelly Amador. In addition, dirt will be excavated and a large culvert will be installed, she said.
In the fall, another contract will be awarded, covering tree and brush removal, Amador said, paving the way for two final contracts, covering “the meat of the project.”
“Normally we do not divide phases of a contract into smaller phases, because it takes a lot of coordination between ODOT’s construction staff and all the contractors,” she said.
However, because $192 million of the funding was awarded by the Legislature under the Oregon Jobs and Transportation Act of 2009, ODOT sought ways to put some of that money back into the local economy, she said. And one way is to divide the work into smaller pieces, as most local contractors lack the bonding capacity the overall project would require.
Amador said ODOT took input from the Yamhill County Parkway Committee on a theme for the bridges. She said they will feature “meandering river” and “rolling hills” reliefs, looks consistent with each other and the region as a whole.
Meanwhile, she said, ODOT’s right-of-way agent is actively working to secure all of the necessary property in the meantime. “This could mean anything from needing two feet of someone’s property to needing all of the property,” she said.
Ardent project champion Dave Haugeberg said he’s excited about the direction the project is taking.
He said he’s noticed an interesting change in the tenor of bypass critics. They used to say it would never happen, but now they are just saying it will never happen in their lifetime.
Haugeberg doesn’t accept either assessment.
“Do what I’ve done,” he said. “Improve your diet, get plenty of rest and we’ll drive on it.”
To follow project developments, visit www.newbergdundee.org.