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New I-5 Bridges Open at Grants Pass Exit 55

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Prime contractor Holm II is putting the finishing touches on new, twin Interstate 5 bridges at Grants Pass exit 55. The $24 million Grants Pass bridge bundle is part of the agency’s Oregon Transportation Investment Act.

OTIA funds are repairing or replacing hundreds of bridges, paving and maintaining city and county roads, improving and expanding interchanges, adding new capacity to Oregon’s highway system and removing freight bottlenecks statewide.

“This hasn’t been a typical bridge replacement project on I-5,” said ODOT Area Manager Art Anderson.

Constructing the bridges at exit 55 was a challenge because the location is on the edge of a hillside.

“We couldn’t take advantage of pre-stressed concrete girders because this section of I-5 is on a curve and has a tilt, or super, to accommodate traffic at interstate speeds,” said Anderson.

In addition to building two new bridges at exit 55, prime contractor Holm II constructed a new, southbound Louse Creek bridge at I-5 exit 61 (Merlin).

Oregon Transportation Investment Act

The agency’s $1.3 billion OTIA III State Bridge Delivery Program is repairing and replacing hundreds of bridges across the state to ensure the unrestricted movement of freight and spur economic growth.

OTIA III is the third Oregon Transportation Investment Act. The $2.46 billion package allocates $1.3 billion to the bridge program and $1.16 billion to fund county and city maintenance projects, local bridge repair and replacement work, and modernization projects statewide.

Oregonians had not seen an investment of this magnitude in highway

and bridge construction since the state’s interstate freeway system was built in the 1950s and ’60s.

Through 2009, the bridge program created or sustained more than 16,000 jobs. Overall, the 10-year bridge program will sustain an annual average of approximately 2,300 jobs.

In 2008, the program spent more than $215 million on construction, design and program management. Of those expenditures, 85 percent went to Oregon firms. Since work started in 2003, businesses and individuals have earned more than $750 million after taxes.

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