Get ready for traffic headaches
Eastbound I-84 construction will affect night drivers, weekend motorists with detour routes
To put the brakes on traffic backups on eastbound Interstate 84 from northbound Interstate 205, the Oregon Department of Transportation is adding another lane.
The new exit-only auxiliary lane will be added to Interstate 84 eastbound from the Halsey Street exit 7 to the Interstate 205 northbound exit 8. It will be created by extending and widening the right eastbound lane, which now ends at the Halsey Street exit, to the I-205 northbound exit, according to an ODOT press release.
This new northbound I-205 exit-only lane will be next to the current two eastbound through lanes.
Construction began last week on April 28 and is scheduled to be done by this fall.
ODOT officials say the project will pave the way for smoother traffic flow, fewer backups onto I-84 and improved safety.
The problem lies in the high volume of traffic to northbound I-205 that backs up onto the eastbound I-84 travel lanes, especially during the afternoon rush hours, creating merging hazards, slowed cars and vehicles stopped in the travel lanes.
To add the new auxiliary lane, ODOT will widen I-84 in the construction zone by 16 feet. It also will build retaining walls to maintain slope stability at the base of the hillside in ODOT'S right of way on the east side of I-84. During the day, all lanes will remain open except for one weekend closure as part of a paving project between I-5 to I-205.
Some drilling, retaining wall construction and signage work will occur during the day.
But due to the high volume of traffic and to minimize delays, much of the construction will be done at night. This work will include retaining wall construction, grinding and paving, and installing new overhead signs.
Now, here's were it really gets complicated.
The eastbound lanes of I-84 between Northeast Halsey Street, exit 7, and Northeast 102nd Avenue, exit 9, will be closed from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. for up to 15 nights to complete construction.
There will also be one weekend closure of eastbound I-84 when the new auxiliary lane is paved, scheduled for the weekend of July 12. This weekend closure will be coordinated with the planned closure of the eastbound lanes as part of ODOTs I-84 paving project between I-5 and I-205.
During the nighttime and weekend closures as part of construction of the auxiliary lane, motorists will be directed to the detour route from I-84 eastbound, exit 6, to I-205 south, to the Glisan Street exit traveling eastbound, to I-205 northbound and back onto I-84 eastbound.
Eastbound I-84 motorists heading to Halsey or 102nd also will be directed to a detour route by being routed to I-205 south, to the Glisan Street exit traveling eastbound to 102nd Avenue, then north to Halsey Street.
And wait, there's more! The freeway signs are changing.
"In keeping with new federal highway sign requirements of listing only cities and towns or streets as destinations, the signs leading up to the exits at exit 7 (Halsey St.) and exit 9 (NE 102nd Ave.) will no longer list Gateway or Parkrose on the overhead signs, respectively," according to ODOT. "At the exit itself, the overhead sign at exit 7 will say Halsey Street and at exit 9 it will say 102nd Ave. An additional sign for the Gateway District will be installed on the shoulders of I-84 leading up to the Halsey Street exits."
This summer, ODOT also will pave I-84 in both directions between I-5 and I-205. This project will require two weekend closures of I-84, one in each direction, a partial westbound weekend closure for sign installation and striping, and four nighttime full closures of one direction or the other.
Eastbound I-84 will be closed during the weekend of July 12.
Westbound I-84 will be closed the following weekend of July 19, as well as on the weekend of Aug. 3. A fourth closure remains to be scheduled.
All construction is weather dependent and scheduled are subject to change.
Cost for the auxiliary lane project is $6 million and is federally and state funded.
More information about the auxiliary lane project visit www.i84toi205.org, or for more about the I-84 paving project, visit www.i84paving.org.