Winter construction is focused on bridges at the Seven Oaks (Blackwell Road) interchange along Interstate 5 exit 35, north of Central Point.
“Ross Brothers Construction is continuing to work on the drilled shafts, which will form the vertical piers for the new overpass, and the new ramp bridge over Jackson Creek,” said ODOT Project Manager Tim Fletcher.
Once those shafts are drilled, cage-like steel structures are placed in them. A reusable collar is then placed around the cages and concrete is pumped in to form the vertical pier.
The existing Blackwell Road overpass is functionally obsolete and traffic volumes are growing in the area. While the interchange remains fairly rural in nature, it is attracting more traffic, especially freight and aggregate trucks.
The $24 million project improves the Seven Oaks or Blackwell Road interchange and replaces the two interstate bridges over the Central Oregon and Pacific Railroad. The project is currently scheduled for completion in 2008.
In addition to building a new Blackwell Road overpass, the project modifies the southbound off-ramp. The configuration allows traffic to go beneath the overpass and loop back toward Rogue Valley Highway (Oregon Highway 99), where the connection will be signalized. Motorists bound for White City and Oregon Highway 140 would then turn right.
Additional project information is available online at : www.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/REGION3.