Work scheduled on I-5, N.W. Lower River Road

Drivers urged to take note of reduced lanes, lower speed limits

By Dameon Pesanti, Columbian staff writer

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Summer weather is here and that means it’s construction season in the Pacific Northwest.

Interstate 5 drivers will probably need to build some extra time into their schedules, starting in about the middle of this month.

The Washington State Department of Transportation announced plans to resurface southbound I-5 near Kalama. That section of freeway delaminated at the same time a landslide blocked the highway near Woodland in February.

WSDOT spokeswoman Tamara Greenwell said workers performed a “quick fix” on the roadway shortly after the problem was discovered, but the upcoming repair will be longer lasting.

Also, southbound I-5 on the North Fork Lewis River Bridge near Woodland will be repaired later this month. Crews will replace the bridge’s expansion joints, install new waterproof membranes and resurface the bridge deck.

Combined, the two projects are budgeted at $2.27 million.

During construction, one lane will be closed during the day, and two will be closed at night. The speed limit will also be reduced to 60 mph until the work is completed this fall.

Starting Monday, crews will also begin work on 10 miles of state Highway 501, also known as Northwest Lower River Road, starting at West 26th Street near the Port of Vancouver.

Later this summer, crews will chip seal the road, which involves laying down a layer of hot oil then applying loose gravel on top it.

Speeds on that road will be reduced from 55 mph to 35 mph. Between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. daily, drivers will alternate through a single lane. Cyclists should especially take note.