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Crew working 18 hours a day to repair Scottsburg Bridge

Crews work on repairing Scottsburg Bridge following semi-truck crash, April 13, 2017. (ODOT photo)

SCOTTSBURG, Ore. -- A crew is on hand working to repair the Scottsburg Bridge, which was damaged when a semi-truck crashed and sent its trailer into the Umpqua River.

Flame On, Inc. of Monroe, Washington, is the heat straightening contractor repairing the bridge, Oregon Department of Transportation officials said. Work began Thursday night.

The crew is working up to 18 hours a day to accelerate the process, ODOT said, using successive cycles of controlled heating and cooling to straighten the damaged steel.

"They have completed several cycles and it is clear the process is working well," ODOT said in a news release. "This is a relatively slow process since only small corrections can be done incrementally, so that the steel’s material properties are not compromised."

Further inspection showed the damage was more substantial than originally reported, officials said.

They say it will require a second phase of repair involving the installation of cover plates once the heat straightening is completed.

This work needs to be completed before the bridge can be reopened to full, two-lane unrestricted traffic, officials said.

ODOT says they awarded a second emergency contract to Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. of Northbrook, Illinois. (They have a regional office in Portland.) WJE is fabricating the plates, which will be delivered on site Wednesday. They will begin mobilization and site preparation next Monday.

ODOT officials say they will re-assess the timeframe late Saturday afternoon to see when they can reopen a single lane with traffic control. In the event they cannot open to traffic before Monday morning, they say they’ve established an alternative transportation solution with the school districts of Reedsport and Elkton to accommodate the students.

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