Road Maintenance, Paving Continues on Hwy. 53 through July to Tillamook/Clatsop County Line

Residents in the Nehalem Valley were surprised by the appearances of reader boards last week stating “Day Paving on Hwy. 53”. Then when many encountered long waits and backed up traffic for miles on Hwy. 101. There were lots of questions, and very few answers from the Oregon Dept. of Transportation’s contractor Knife River. According to ODOT District Manager Mark Buffington, the construction is scheduled to continue through the third week of July and will cover Hwy. 53 to the Tillamook County line. “I’ve received a lot of calls and complaints about this project, and realize that we should have applied the same communication to this project that we do our ‘construction’ projects,” Buffington explained. “We send out information and notices for construction projects, the Hwy. 53 paving is a ‘maintenance’ project.” In hindsight, letting the local residents know that the paving project was coming up would have allowed for better planning, using other roads and detours. In addition, there have been complaints about issues with the contractor that are being addressed by ODOT regarding rude employees and other actions.

It’s pack your patience season with construction in full swing in various areas, especially if you head north in Clatsop County. The Clatsop County side of Hwy. 53 will be addressed in 2023 and will involve multiple culvert replacements as well as addressing slide zones.
You can always for road construction information.