HUGO, Ore. — Northbound Interstate 5 travelers will have some delays to be aware of for the next several months, but O-DOT officials say it should make traffic run more smoothly when the work is done.
A $28 million project to add a hill climbing lane from trucks on Sexton Mountain is about to begin. On Monday, crews from Knife River Paving starting placing brightly colored cones up the hill from the Jumpoff-Joe Interchange, at Exit 61.
Next will come concrete barriers forcing traffic left of the emergency strip, often used by slow moving trucks; that will clear the way for the climbing lane construction which will require cutting away the hillside in places.
“Once the barrier gets set, there will be two lanes going’ up the hill. the trucks currently use the wide shoulder now, so we anticipate some traffic slowdowns because of that, but there will be two lanes through the job,” said O-DOT Inspector Kevin Peterson.
Knife River managers say they hope to have the project done by this fall, including re-paving of the highway from Hugo to the Glendale area, in southern Douglas County. Some thirty people are expected to be employed during the course of the project.