Oregon reboots troubled highway project

EUGENE, Ore. - A Salem company got the low-bid contract to rebuild a section of Highway 20 to the coast that state officials had to demolish last year.

It's the long stalled project near Eddyville, east of Newport, that ran into troubles over the years.

K & E Excavating, Inc. of Salem bid $13.3 million to construct Phase 2 of the US 20 project.

Crews will replace a 10 mile segment of old highway that has narrow lanes and hairpin curves. In its place, plans call for a 5.5 mile segment that will be straighter, with wide shoulders and miles of passing lanes.

Crews last year had to take a step backwards and demolish tall concrete bridge supports.

The plan is to prevent further mudslide issues by lowering the road level and improve drainage in the area.

"We're about to enter into phase 2 of construction, which will place the large culverts at the 4 creek locations where we previously had designed bridges," said Rick Little with ODOT.

The total estimated cost of the project is $365.7 million.

The entire project is on schedule to put traffic on the new highway segment in fall of 2016.