News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

Highway 22 road repair to cause delays

Drivers to Detroit Lake can expect months of delays from now until November, the proposed end date for a more than $6.8 million repair project that started this week.

“With so many variables, especially weather, it’s always hard to estimate a completion date,” said David House, with the Oregon Department of Transportation. “We expect the work to be done by the end of November, but it could be sooner. We’ll have a better estimate later in the summer.”

ODOT officials reported the driving surface of the stretch of Highway 22 between Big Cliff Dam near Gates and the Mongold Day Use in Detroit area to be breaking apart and cracking, resulting in bumpy rides and increased maintenance costs. According to ODOT, maintenance crews are having to do more frequent repairs and patching to keep the road usable.

The project includes repairing the driving surface and applying new pavement, painting new striping, replacing guardrails, adding rockfall fencing on hillsides, bridge repair, and installing rumble strips in the center of the road. The strips are designed to create sound and vibration, alerting drivers that they are crossing into oncoming traffic.

“This week, construction crews have begun the asphalt pavement repairs,” said Douglas Keys, assistant resident engineer with ODOT. “We have 2-inch and 19-inch repairs that are needed. Next week, the plan is to continue the asphalt repairs and start replacing the guardrail with new, up-to-date components.”

Drivers can expect noise and delays as crews work all day and night to repair the road. In mid-June, repaving will begin with lane closures expected. 

“Most of the work that is involved will require pilot car operation through the work zone,” Keys said. “The public can expect pilot cars to guide them safely through the work zone closure for the whole project duration. I would expect some delays during these operations.”

Since flaggers and a pilot car will help direct traffic as needed, be sure to add extra time when going to Detroit Lake for the upcoming Fishing Derby, Fourth of July and other events.  

ODOT advises travelers to give themselves more time to get from Salem to Bend or if possible, to take an alternate route such as state highways 20 or 126. Pedestrians, including those with disabilities, will have access through work zones, the agency said. ​

ODOT cautions drivers to drive safely and watch for construction signs and workers. Officials say to remember that fines double in all Oregon work zones, whether workers and signs are present or not. 

“Please drive carefully through the work zone,” Keys said. “Safety is our number one priority. When the project is finished, our goal is to provide a new wearing surface and new, up-to-standard guardrail for everyone’s safety.”

Visit the Region 2 construction webpage for more information about ongoing or upcoming projects. 

Local residents can share any noise-related concerns by calling the 24-hour hotline at 503-294-1389.

For real-time road conditions and traffic alerts, visit tripcheck.com or call 5-1-1.

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