Jackson County approves bridge replacement

A bridge on Fern Valley Road that passes over the Bear Creek Greenway in Phoenix between Interstate 5 and Highway 99 near Ray's Food Place will be replaced.

The Jackson County Board of Commissioners accepted $3.03 million in Federal Highway Bridge Program funds at its weekly meeting Wednesday.

The Oregon Department of Transportation will conduct the work as part of a larger, $73 million project to replace the Fern Valley interchange, which connects Phoenix to Interstate 5.

The county will grant ODOT a six-month easement on two nearby tax lots so the Greenway can be rerouted during the work.

Once replaced, the bridge over the Greenway and Bear Creek will be able to accommodate heavier commercial trucks and will include bike lanes and sidewalks, officials said.

The project is slated to go to bid in April 2013, with an estimated start date in June. The entire Fern Valley interchange project will take about two years to complete, county officials have said. The bridge and connecting access to Highway 99 will remain open during construction.

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