EUGENE, Ore. -- After more than a year and a half, construction on the Delta Highway and Beltline Highway interchange in Eugene is nearly done.
ODOT planned to have the final off-ramp from northbound Delta Highway to westbound Beltline Highway open Wednesday but ran into a slight delay. Officials now expect the off-ramp to be ready for commuters Friday morning. Once that’s open, the $20 million project will be complete, aside from a few finishing touches.
ODOT spokesperson Angela Beers-Seydel said the project is wrapping up on-time and within budget.
“Once this ramp opens, everything will shift to clean-up work. The last things we need to do is seeding in here, getting grass down, native plants, those kinds of things,” Beers-Seydel said. “Everything going forward is going to be off the roadway.”
Before opening the last off-ramp Friday, ODOT still needs to add some safety features like barriers and ramp meters.
Construction on the interchange project began back in December 2019. Officials say the reconstruction of the interchange is to account for future population growth. The interchange was designed and built when the surrounding area was still rural. As traffic increased, so did issues with merging and weaving. The area was also identified as a high-crash location by ODOT.
Beers-Seydel said the benefits of the work are already being seen.
“I've had all kinds of people call me and say they really like the new intersection. They weren't sure about it - having a light there. But they feel much safer than the old ramp that took them onto northbound Delta,” Beers-Seydel said.
With the interchange project largely completed, ODOT will renew its focus on improvement to Delta Highway and River Road. Those improvements are still being studied and lack funding.