The Oregon Department of Transportation has begun work to repair the Water Street bridge on Lithia Way.

The Oregon Department of Transportation has begun work to repair the Water Street bridge on Lithia Way.

Water Street is closed to vehicles, but pedestrians still are able to cross under the bridge. For safety reasons, pedestrians should not use the closed sidewalk but to cross the street to the open sidewalk, officials said.

On Tuesday, March 29, contractor Wildish Standard Paving, of Eugene, will begin work on the underside of the bridge. The lane on Lithia Way directly over the section being repaired will be closed during the day. ODOT warns to expect traffic delays during the project, which is scheduled to be completed by May 15, before the tourism season is in full swing.

Built over Ashland Creek in 1956, the bridge has cracks in its deck and support structure, but poses no immediate danger to vehicles, according to ODOT. An ODOT inspection team discovered the bridge was structurally deficient last summer. The project is expected to cost ODOT about $400,000, but the budget for the project is $500,000, an ODOT spokesman said.

For more information, contact ODOT Project Information at 541-774-6388.