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MailTribune.com
  • As rain leaves, I-5 construction arrives Sunday

  • The forecast for Monday morning is dry with a chance of congestion on Interstate 5 in the Phoenix area.
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  • The forecast for Monday morning is dry with a chance of congestion on Interstate 5 in the Phoenix area.
    Rain-delayed work to install a large stormwater pipe beneath the freeway about a half-mile north of the Phoenix exit is set to get underway Sunday evening, the Oregon Department of Transportation reported.
    Work to close one lane of the interstate in each direction should start around 7 p.m. Sunday, said ODOT project information specialist Gary Leaming.
    Crews have to restripe the road and that work couldn't be done on wet pavement, so rain delayed the work that originally was set to start April 21.
    Commuters Monday morning will find 50 mph speed limits along with lane restrictions through the construction zone.
    ODOT traffic analysts predict two-mile traffic backups through the work area. Officials recommend drivers travel at off-peak hours, take Rogue Valley Transportation District buses or use alternate routes, such as Highway 99 or North Phoenix Road, to avoid congestion along I-5. RVTD provides 20-minute transit service on Highway 99.
    General contractor Hamilton Construction of Springfield has 25 days to complete the storm drain work, which should wrap up May 22, officials said.
    The stormwater pipe is part of a new, $72 million Fern Valley interchange. When completed, it will be the first diverging diamond interchange in the state, ODOT officials said. Estimated completion is September 2016.
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