CHINOOK - The current round of archeological work taking place at the U.S. 101 Station Camp project site west of the Astoria-Megler Bridge in Pacific County was completedlast weekand the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT)was tobegin construction of the highway realignment portion of this project Monday.

The project is a joint multi-agency project lead by the Washington State Historical Society, and involves WSDOT, the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission and the National Park Service.The highway realignment part of the project will shift U.S. 101 north by 275 feet from its current alignment near the church. This will help improve safety on this section of the highway, and allow for expansion of the Station Camp unit of the Lewis and Clark National Historical Park on the south side of the highway. Once complete, the nine-acre riverfront Station Camp park will serve as an important historical stop along the Lewis and Clark Trail. Construction of the park expansion will likely begin in late winter 2005 or early spring 2006.

During the highway realignment portion of the project, crews also will install a drainage system and guardrail, and conduct paving and other work. Construction on this project will occur during the day, Mondays through Fridays, with minimal impacts to the traveling public. Most of the work will occur off-site with the exception of two culvert installations and the final connection of the new highway alignment. In those instances, there will be single lane closures with flaggers and up to 20-minute delays.There will be no lane closures on weekends, on holidays or after 12 p.m. on the day before a holiday. Weather permitting, the highway realignment part of the project will be complete in spring 2006. The highway realignment contract was awarded to Ostrander Rock and Construction Co. Inc. of Longview last year after they submitted the winning bid of $1,119,760.

Advance warning signs will be placed ahead of the construction area, and motorists are asked to observe and adhere to the posted speed limits when driving through any work zones.

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