Saturday, June 1, 2013

AP: Hole Discovered in Columbia Gorge Bridge

Posted By on Sat, Jun 1, 2013 at 1:00 PM

The Associated Press reports that a 2-by-3-foot hole has been discovered in the Interstate 84 bridge in the Columbia Gorge. But the Oregon Department of Transportation insists that the span is still safe. The bridge includes two separate spans stretching Hood River. The gaping hole is in an eastbound lane.

The AP reports that the hole was officially reported Friday morning.

Motorists were cautioned that traffic would be delayed through much of the weekend, and possibly into next week, as repair crews began work on the hole. ODOT said one lane could be closed for three days.

Transportation officials told the AP that the bridge deck has been fixed several times in recent years, "but no holes had opened up."

ODOT estimates that 13,500 vehicles travel the eastbound lanes of the bridge each day.

The bridge was built in 1953 and a new deck was constructed in the mid 1990's.

An ODOT spokesman told the A.P. that the bridge was not among the nearly 90 Oregon state bridge considered "structurally deficient."

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