Utility Work to Resume on Highway 99E; Paving Pushed Back to 2024

Work on Highway 99E is set to resume after Memorial Day this week, as contractors confirm the locations of utilities necessary to replace a damaged stormwater pipe and restart the state’s long-delayed $20 million repaving and reconstruction project.

Work on the project has been shelved since early March, when Oregon Department of Transportation crews found a crack in a 1960s-era stormwater pipe that had to be replaced before additional work on the road can continue.

Officials feared that if work continued without replacing the pipe, the use of heavy equipment could cause further damage. Replacing it before proceeding with the project further would also reduce the likely scenario of having to tear up the new pavement to fix leaks or replace the pipe in the future.

However, shortly after announcing the discovery, crews packed up and left town, with no word as to when the pipe would be replaced or when the long-anticipated project — already several years in the making — would continue.

Some news finally arrived Friday, with ODOT advising motorists to expect single-lane closures along Highway 99E for about two weeks starting May 30, as contractors and utility crews prep for the replacement project.

Project map courtesy the Oregon Department of Transportation.

“Confirming the location of utilities is an important part of updating the project plans to allow for replacement of the damaged stormwater pipe under the highway,” the agency said in the May 26 update.

Officials also expect to remove unused railroad tracks along the 1.5-mile project area and realign the tracks crossing 99E east of North Pine Street this summer.

Alas, not all news is good news. Reconstruction and repaving of the notoriously pockmarked Highway 99E, which was originally expected to be completed by this fall, is now “likely to occur in 2024,” according to officials.

The long-planned facelift officially kicked off with revamping sidewalks and adding ramps and other curb upgrades in the project area, including at Birch Street near McDonald’s and South Elm late last year.

It was designed to include new features and improvements to make driving, biking, walking, taking transit or using mobility devices safer and easier along Canby’s central and most-traveled thoroughfare.

The project will (eventually) fully repave the entire section of Highway 99E from Berg Parkway to Pine Street, including excavation and replacement of several inches of roadbed and pavement, for a safer, smoother ride.

For more information about the project, including frequently asked questions, or to subscribe for updates, visit bit.ly/canbypaving.

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