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Caveman Bridge

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Transforming from “gray and dingy” to “fresh and vibrant” is a makeover most people would appreciate for their own mode of transportation, whether it is truck, car, bicycle, or skateboard. Understandably, the pleasure is tenfold for Grants Pass citizens as the $5.3 million Caveman Bridge rehabilitation project boldly refreshes their iconic landmark.

“I love the look of the bridge,” said Grants Pass City Council President Valerie Lovelace. “It looks sharp and dressed up. It really pops. The improvements make the river front area, with its many attractions, a fun place to be.”

The Caveman Bridge returned to its original white patina, with new, historic-looking rail that, most importantly, meets today’s crash standards. Prime contractor HP Civil Inc. of Stayton installed period lighting on the bridge reminiscent of when it first opened in 1931.

Advancing the schedule

“Instead of the anticipated 12 full-night closures to the bridge, the contractor has been able to drive the schedule needing only two full-night closures,” said ODOT Project Coordinator Todd Snyder. “Those closures occurred in September, so they could apply the new polymer bridge deck.”

Full speed ahead is typical of the HP Civil Inc. approach to project scheduling. The contractor finds different ways to complete work while keeping the bridge, sometimes just a single lane, open during the night. The project design team expected full-night closures were necessary for the overhead pressure washing and a necessary, deep, and long excavation for a north side bridge joint. HP Civil Inc. completed both quickly, at night and under traffic.

“The project’s construction schedule was designed to reduce impacts to businesses and travelers as well as support the community events vital to Grants Pass,” said ODOT Project Information Specialist Gary Leaming. “HP Civil Inc. has taken that commitment to a whole new level. They’re simply awesome.”

For the remainder of this year, bridge repair work includes continuing the skim coat under the deck and then sealing that new coating.

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