MANZANITA — The Oregon Department of Transportation's U.S. 101 Manzanita Avenue/Neahkahnie Creek Project reached a key milestone recently when the design was approved by the project's development team. Construction of the $6 million project remains on schedule to begin in spring 2013.

The project passed the Design Acceptance Phase (DAP), which identifies key elements of the project including right-of-way acquisition and environmental issues within the footprint of the project.

The project will replace a deteriorated 500-foot metal culvert that conveys Neahkahnie Creek with a new 270-foot pipe that will also allow for fish passage into Rinehart Lake and to critical fish habitat within the upper reaches of the lake. The remaining length of culvert will be replaced with a "natural" stream channel that will extend up to the outlet of Reinhart Lake.

The project will also improve the left-turn lanes along U.S. Highway 101 northbound at Laneda and Manzanita avenues. Additional improvements include roadside drainage, pavement preservation, access management, bike lanes and sidewalks, lighting, striping and guardrails.

Construction is anticipated to start in spring 2013 and be completed by spring 2014. The work is expected to be done in two phases. The first phase will be to replace the failing culvert which lies 50 feet below the roadway. Construction of the left-turn lanes at Laneda and Manzanita Avenues and the other improvements will follow the culvert replacement.

Since 2004, ODOT has been working closely on the project with the city of Manzanita, greater Lower Nehalem community, area businesses and Tillamook County. Citizens have been engaged with ODOT through a series of open houses and design reviews.

While major traffic delays are not anticipated during construction, there may be single lane closures with flaggers, depending on the season. As the planned construction gets closer, ODOT will share more detailed traffic control plans and impacts with the local community.

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