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JP West Bridge expected to reopen by Oct. 1

Photo Credit: COURTNEY VAUGHN - Construction crews continue bridge replacement work on JP West Bridge in Scappoose. The county-owned bridge is expected to be re-opened in early October.

Construction work on JP West Bridge is expected to wrap up by Oct. 1. JP West Bridge has been in the process of being replaced since July 7, according to Columbia County's Roads Department.

A construction contract states J.P. West Road can remain closed until the project is completed, Tristan Wood of the county's roads department, said Monday.

Wood said the bridge, which is owned by the county, was in disrepair and due for replacement in order to meet state flood plain requirements, as well as city standards and earthquake standards. The bridge used to measure 19.5 feet wide. Once complete, it will be 36 feet wide and allow for easy bicycle access, Wood said. It will also be three and a half feet higher than the old one.

“We had to have it down to one lane at one time due to the poor condition of it,” Wood said. “It was weight limited.”

He said the new bridge is expected to last more than a century.

The $1.4 million project was heavily funded by a grant from the Local Agency Bridge Replacement Program from the Oregon Department of Transportation. Columbia County paid about 10 percent of the costs using street improvement funds, Wood said.

He said the project got off to delayed start to account for the Independence Day holiday weekend.

“The city [of Scappoose] asked us to keep it open for the Summer Festival and we didn't want to close it during 4th of July weekend,” Wood added.

Originally built in 1918, J.P. West Bridge isn't considered a historical bridge, though it did retain some of its original wood pilings until the replacement project took shape.

Wood said the county's roads department has gotten a few calls about the ongoing road work.

“People think that they're not working on the roadway, but they've actually been pretty busy,” Wood noted.

Doug Nassimbene with the city of Scappoose's public works department, said while the project is underway, drivers should detour to Keys Road and then down to JP West.

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