A $5 million Oregon Department of Transportation project to widen Hurricane Creek Road between Enterprise and Joseph will be released for bids in early April, says Region 5 ODOT public information officer Tom Strandberg.

He says bidding on the work will be closed in mid to late April with actual work to begin, depending on the contractor who gets the job, in May.

Strandberg says all funding for the project is coming through the State of Oregon’s Jobs Transportation Act of 2009, and adds that the Wallowa County Public Works Department, under the leadership of Public Works director Russ McMartin, likely will be providing some in-kind work, such as laying pipe and extending box culverts.

Earlier, McMartin said a goal is to have the project completed in one construction season.

An earlier plan was to have the county public works department hire additional workers and in 2012 perform the $5 million Hurricane Creek Road project internally, but that plan was scrapped.

The design of the project is to widen the road to 60 feet with two new traffic lanes at 11 feet per lane, two four-foot bicycle/pedestrian lanes, new shoulders, and newly sloped barrow pits on both sides. Currently, the roadway is 22 feet wide, thus accommodating two traffic lanes with no bike/pedestrian lanes or shoulders.

The project’s current plans also include straightening a sharp corner about four miles south of Enterprise.

Strandberg says the bid will be awarded to the lowest bidder that complies with required bonding, insurance, and other standards established by the state.

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