Expect delays, traffic as Eugene road construction begins

Expect delays, traffic as Eugene road construction begins »Play Video

EUGENE, Ore. - Driving down Jefferson Street can be a nightmare. Parts are littered with potholes thatare not smooth on your car. Soon that's about to change.

According to Eugene Public Works, around 20,000 people travel down Jefferson and Washington Streets every day.

"It is in very bad shape," said public works spokesman Eric Jones.

And now motorists will have to face delays or find another route.

"They will be actually working in the intersections starting tomorrow, so traffic tie-ups will start Wednesday," he said.

Over the next three months, construction crews be tearing up both roads and reconstructing them in phases.

"Replacing the existing asphalt surface with long wearing concrete," said Jones. "It takes time, four or five days between each pour for the concrete to set up. So you can see it will take the better part of a month just to do these intersections."

The intersections on Jefferson and Washington at Eighth Avenue, Broadway, 10th and 11th Avenues will be rebuilt first starting Wednesday.
Then Jefferson will be repaved from First to Eighth Avenues and Washington from First to Sixth Avenues. New sidewalk access ramps will also be constructed at numerous locations throughout the project area.

"It is in such bad shape that the only repair is to dig it all out and rebuild it from the ground up," he said. "We're gonna do that in concrete so it will have a very long lasting life when we're done."

The $1.8 million dollar project is being funded by local fuel taxes and a 2008 voter-approved bond measure.

Jones said he doesn't know the last time these roads have been repaired like this, but they definitely need it.

"It's not salvageable all the potholes and cracks that you see are indications that it's failed all the way down to the road bed."

During the construction one lane on Jefferson and Washington will be open for traffic, but drivers are encouraged to find alternate routes.