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Bridge work near Mt. Ashland exit will cause I-5 traffic delays

An Oregon Department of Transportation map shows the site of upcoming bridge work near the Mt. Ashland exit off Interstate 5.

On Thursday, road crews will begin a project to replace the southbound bridge deck at exit 6 off Interstate 5, work that is expected to affect freeway traffic and travel to the Mt. Ashland area.

The replacement is part of a $27 million project focused on about 11 miles of freeway improvements between Ashland and the California border, Oregon Department of Transportation spokesman Gary Leaming said.

“This section of concrete is more than 30 years old,” Leaming said, and has been rutted by tire chains and studs.

The bridge replacement will be performed close to the site that temporarily closed the Old Siskiyou Highway in April 2020. Crews will remove the concrete deck and rebuild it. The end product will be a new section of roadway, bridge deck and striping.

Through May 7, the southbound exit 6 on-ramp will be closed, allowing for construction of a temporary southbound on-ramp from the Old Siskiyou Highway. During that time, southbound traffic heading into California will use the Old Siskiyou Highway to exit 1.

A 10-day closure of the Old Siskiyou Highway under the freeway’s Old Siskiyou Highway Bridge at exit 6 will follow, spanning May 25 to June 3, allowing for demolition of the southbound bridge deck. During the closure, northbound traffic traveling from west of the freeway (Colestin Road and Mt. Ashland Ski Road) will need to use the Old Siskiyou Highway to Hilt to get back on to northbound I-5. Traffic east of the freeway (such as drivers coming from Callahan’s) wanting to travel south will detour north to exit 14, where they will turn around and then head back south.

From June 22 through mid-August, drivers should expect night closures for deck repairs, a new protective overlay, and new rail fencing.

The project is expected to pause temporarily after Oct. 15, with crews returning to complete unfinished work in spring 2022.

An open house about the project will be available online through April 30 at odotopenhouse.org/I-5-CA-Border-to-Ashland-Project.

Reach Mail Tribune web editor Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or rpfeil@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter at @ryanpfeil.