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Work going strong on Troutdale I-84 interchange upgrade

Construction on the Troutdale interchange at exit 17 on Interstate 84 has been underway for just more than a year, but the complex project still has months to go.

“There’s a lot of moving parts,” said Oregon Department of Transportation spokesman Don Hamilton. “This spot is a critical connection for businesses and for freight. This is the entry point and the exit point in and out of the Portland area.”

The interchange upgrade for both eastbound and westbound traffic is critical to ensuring smooth traffic flow in the area.

“When we have a bad storm or we have a (road) closure in the gorge, we close at exit 17 because it has the facilities to host a lot of trucks,” Hamilton noted. “There’s places to stay, there’s facilities, there’s restrooms and what-not. This project is making sure we get a good flow of traffic so we can reduce delays. We can reduce congestion for the community, tourists and trucks that go through the area.”

The project widens Marine Drive, adding two lanes and turning lanes in each direction. But before that can be completed, the old interstate overpass bridges have to be demolished.

“We’re going to be demolishing this summer,” Hamilton said. “After that happens, then all the traffic will be back on its proper home.”

The widening of Marine Drive along with sidewalk improvements can be completed after that.

“Once all that is done, we will finish with final paving and striping,” he said.

Fortunately for drivers, Hamilton said there should be minimal impacts to traffic and few lane closures as the project moves forward.

“This is a pretty significant upgrade in that area,” he said. “I think everyone — the local residents, the truckers, everyone — will see a real improvement in the traffic flow in the area once this project is completed.”

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