Rock Point Bridge reopens for summer

The historic Rock Point Bridge reopened today in time for the Memorial Day weekend and to help area businesses that rely on summer tourism, the Oregon Department of Transportation said.

A single lane is open on the bridge, which spans the Rogue River northwest of Gold Hill. The one-way configuration provides access for drivers traveling east from Interstate 5 exit 43.

The bridge was closed last September for $3.9 million rehabilitation project targeting the damaged deck and side rails as well as cracked concrete beneath the bridge. Officials expected to have the work done by Memorial Day, but unforeseen delays related to incomplete drawings from 1920 and more-than-expected deterioration from age will push the final project completion date into fall.

ODOT chose to open a single lane of traffic in time for summer, then delivered detour maps to local businesses and placed detour signs to help drivers return to I-5 using either exit 40 or 45.

Rock Point Bridge will close again after Labor Day for eight weeks so the final stage — refurbishing the entire bridge deck and paving the bridge approaches — can be completed.

— Anita Burke

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