Just in time for Memorial Day weekend, all four lanes of traffic have reopened on Interstate 5 near exit 24, following a nearly month-long slimdown for the first phase of the Fern Valley Interchange project.
One lane of traffic on I-5's northbound and southbound lanes has been closed since April 28 while work crews from Springfield-based Hamilton Construction installed a four-foot diameter stormwater pipe beneath the freeway. The project is about one half mile north of Phoenix.
"Really we're done with that phase. Traffic on I-5 is back to normal," said Oregon Department of Transportation spokesman Gary Leaming.
Work crews wrapped up the work at 11:30 p.m. Wednesday night, a scant 30 minutes before the agreed-to project deadline.
"The project schedule set a deadline of May 22 and the contractor nailed it," ODOT spokesman Dennis Steers said in a news release.
The 50 mph speed limit will remain in place, and motorists must reduce their speeds in that zone, even when no workers are present, ODOT officials said.
The $72 million Fern Valley Interchange project has a total project completion date of September 2016. It will be the first diverging diamond interchange in the state when it's finished.
— Ryan Pfeil