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Highway 26 Improvement Project Underway

By Ty Walker

Highway 26 Improvement Project Underway

Construction has begun on a major paving project to improve safety for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists on U.S. Highway 26 between Brightwood and Zigzag. The Oregon Department of Transportation figures to complete the $10.3 million project this fall. The contractor is Brix Paving Northwest Inc. of Sherwood.

The project includes a new 700-foot long shared-use path on the south side of U.S. 26, providing safe lanes for bikes, pedestrians and cars near Welches Elementary and Welches Middle schools. The existing crosswalk will be shifted west and a new push-button activated pedestrian signal will be installed across the highway where the fire station traffic signal is today. With a new pedestrian signal the 20 mph school speed zone will no longer be needed.

Paving will involve grinding away existing asphalt, repaving and reinstalling the lane markings and rumble strips in the project area. A new protective waterproof layer on the Salmon River Bridge will be installed to help extend its lifespan.

Drivers can expect lane closures to cause nighttime traffic delays on U.S. Highway 26 from 8 pm to 8 am daily. Flaggers will direct traffic in the area as needed.

​Check​ for up-to-date traffic impacts and road conditions during construction.

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