The Interstate 5 Bridge trunnion repair project was largely on track on its first day Saturday, save for some temporary delays.
Crews worked to close all lanes of the northbound span during the first day of the project, which is expected to last nine days. The gradual closure began early Saturday morning and had finished by the afternoon.
Workers installing Jersey barriers on the southbound side were forced into a temporary delay Saturday afternoon due to a traffic crash in the area, said Celeste Dimichina, a spokeswoman for the Washington Department of Transportation. Crews at one point also needed to adjust ramp meters — mini signals used to control the frequency of vehicles entering the freeway — that were slowing the flow of traffic more than necessary. Overnight rain also slowed efforts to stripe crossovers between northbound and southbound lanes.
The project was supposed to begin a week earlier. But two days before the long-awaited start date, the Oregon Department of Transportation announced that it would delay the project to prevent large traffic delays amid widespread wildfire evacuations.
The hurdles Saturday were more of the typical variety for large infrastructure projects.
“We try to anticipate these delays but they unfortunately happen when we least expect it,” Dimichina said.