Bridge rehab to be quieter than anticipated

Coast Radio News
Local News
10 September 2015

Contractor to use barge, rather than temporary bridge, to work

Transportation officials delivered some good news to Bay Street businesses and residents last night. A 3 ½ year rehabilitation project on the Siuslaw River Bridge will be quieter than originally planned. Steve Templin, Project Manager for the Oregon Department of Transportation, says the contractor that will be replacing the side rails, repairing cracked and broken concrete, and installing a thin layer of corrosion resistant zinc. Most of the work will be done from a floating barge. That’s a change from original plans to drive 180 pilings into the river bottom to support work platforms.

Replacement of the side rails on the Siuslaw River Bridge won't mean a change in how the 79-year old structure looks. The new rails will match the art-deco rails originally designed by Conde McCulloch when the bridge was built in 1936.
Replacement of the side rails on the Siuslaw River Bridge won’t mean a change in how the 79-year old structure looks. The new rails will match the art-deco rails originally designed by Conde McCulloch when the bridge was built in 1936.  Broken and cracked concrete will be repaired and the bridge will get a corrosion resistant coating of zinc to slow down deterioration.

Steve Templin – “It’s quicker, it’s quieter, we don’t have to drive, really, these humongous pile out there. We don’t have to, then, remove those pile. And a lot of work, you know, goes into bolting and creating bridges out there and so, it’s a pretty huge difference in how they approach this.”

That means nearby residents won’t have to listen to the incessant pounding of the pile-driver. It will also speed up the project because the crews will spend less time preparing… and more time actually working.

When they are done sometime in 2018 or 19, the bridge will be also be more apt to resist the effects of an earthquake… but Templin was quick to point out it will not be earthquake proof.

Fire danger remains high

Overnight temperatures have been lower, there’s been more humidity; sunset has been coming quicker and sunrise later. But Tom Fields says don’t let that fool you. September can still be very dangerous when it comes to fire.

The Oregon Department of Forestry Fire Prevention Coordinator says “people are genuinely surprised when their thought-to-be safe actions result in a fire” this time of year.

Fields says an average of 200 fires burn in excess of one-thousand acres in Oregon during September each year.

Last year, there were three major fires that combined to blacken about 65-hundred acres.

Fire season will remain in effect well into October this year and weather forecasts are calling for temperatures in the 90s throughout much of Oregon for the next several days.

If you build it, he will come

A one-night return of the old Rhododendron Drive In Theater is scheduled for Saturday, September 19th. That’s when Coast Radio will team up with the Boys and Girls Club of Western Lane County to convert the south field at the park into a drive in as they have the past five years.

The movie this year… Field of Dreams.

The 1989 movie about an Iowa corn farmer who builds a baseball park in his cornfield.

Gates open at five pm that evening and the Boys and Girls Club will be offering full concessions. The feature starts at eight.

The drive in is made possible by underwriters, Terrace Homes-Koning and Cooper Construction; as well as Driftwood Shores Surfside Inn.

There’s no cost to attend.

Avian flu poses risk for backyard flocks

Migratory waterfowl are on the move again this fall and that increases the risk of spreading bird flu to flocks of backyard chickens in Oregon. Madeline Benoit (BENN-wah) is the Avian Health Coordinator for the Oregon Department of Agriculture.

Madeline Benoit – “Migration season is beginning during this time. We have migratory waterfowl moving for their wintering grounds, and the cold and wet weather helps the virus to survive better.”

That virus is a highly pathogenic form of avian influenza, the same strain that was detected in two Oregon backyard flocks last year.

Madeline Benoit – “There is that possibility it could happen to us. I mean, it happened once and there is nothing to say it couldn’t happen again. So we just need to be prepared and more cautious than anything.”

The most important message Benoit can deliver is that if you have backyard chickens… monitor them and keep them away from wild waterfowl to prevent spread of the disease.

SOLVE beach cleanups

The annual fall SOLVE beach and riverside cleanup will be spread over three weekends this month. Some of the activities will take place this weekend, but the bulk of the cleanup activities, at least along the coast, will be on the 19th.

That’s when volunteers will converge on beaches up and down the coast, including in the Florence and Reedsport areas, to pick up trash accumulated over the summer season.

Locally there will be organized cleanups at Washburn State Park, Heceta Beach, the North Jetty, Siltcoos Outlet and on the Umpqua Dunes in Douglas County.

For a complete list of cleanup activities, as well as information on how to sign up, you can go to the SOLVE website.