By Laura Swanson
Dan Weber, ODOT Maintenance Manager in Tillamook checked in with the Pioneer this evening (after 12 hours on the job site.) One hundred dump truck loads excavated, they have reached the culvert, buried 30 feet below the roadway. Locating utilities has been challenging as they have encountered multiple fiber optics cables. Work will resume at 5 am tomorrow morning July 30th to pull the old culvert; the new pipe has arrived, and the plan is to install the new culvert and start backfilling. Fortunately, rock and dump trucks are readily available and work should steadily continue. If work continues as planned, they are on schedule to re-open the highway by Monday.
Weber shared some historical information – this culvert was placed in 1937. Let that sink in … 85 years. There are thousands of culverts throughout Tillamook County of the same “vintage” and there is the potential for a failure on multiple routes at any time.
We take for granted our roads and transportation system. There’s been much complaining and negative comments about “why this wasn’t addressed sooner” and the irritation of locals and visitors that were slightly inconvenienced to drive a detour route. This is a minor inconvenience for a couple of days, and let’s give a huge shout out to our local ODOT crews, contractors, County Public Works and officials that have stepped up to quickly assess and address restoring the highway. And remember how lucky we are to be able to have roads and access to some of the most beautiful places in the world!
Photos by Netarts-Oceanside Fire District