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OR 82: Bear Creek (Wallowa River) Bridge Replacement


We are currently designing a project to replace the Bear Creek (Wallowa River) Bridge near Wallowa, Oregon.

You can learn more about this project by visiting each station in the open house.

At the end, you will find out how to contact us and submit comments or questions.

Thank you for visiting. This project open house closes Monday, May 31 at 5 p.m. 

You may go directly to a station by using the buttons below, or click the Get Started: Project Overview button at the top of the screen to move through the stations in order.


Learn about general project information, including purpose, project map, timeline and cost of project.
Learn about the specific project elements.
Find out how this project may impact you.
We want to hear from you. Submit comments and questions here.

Project Overview

The Bear Creek Bridge serves as the primary freight route and provides the only year-round access to Wallowa County without leaving the state. Continued deterioration in bridge conditions could result in a need to close the bridge, disrupting travel to and from the county.


This project will replace the Bear Creek (Wallowa River) Bridge.

Project Elements

Project work includes:

  • Realign roadway and improve highway curve.
  • Widen bridge to improve vehicle and bicycle safety.
  • Fix erosion issues with footings in the river.
  • New structure will be built to withstand seismic activity.

Project Map

Map of project location.

Click here for larger map.

Tentative Timeline

Design 2020-2021.

Open for bids December 2021.

Construction scheduled to start 2022 to 2024.

Anticipated completion of October 2024.

Project Cost

$15.4 million.

40% Complete

Project Elements

The 80-year old structure requires upgrades and repairs. The bridge is narrow. Freeze-thaw cycles have damaged concrete railings, sidewalk and other components. Erosion and debris jeopardize the bridge foundations. 

Project goals:

  • Improve safety.
  • Increase roadway width.
  • Replace deteriorated rail.
  • Realign roadway.
  • Address erosion and accumulation of debris in the river.

Improve safety.

A variety of issues require attention. Plans are underway to replace the bridge to properly address all concerns and make the bridge safe for the future.

Increase road width.

Current road shoulders are one foot wide. This narrow passage creates unsafe conditions for bikes and pedestrians. Shoulders will be widened to six feet.

Replace deteriorated rail.

The concrete railing and curb are damaged from freeze-thaw cycles. The deteriorating sidewalk is unsafe and does not meet ADA standards.

Realign road.

The road will be realigned to accommodate new bridge construction. Traffic will continue using the old bridge while the new bridge is being built. The realignment will create a gentler curve and smoother traffic flow.

Address erosion and debris.

Erosion and debris from the river have damaged bridge columns and footings. The new bridge design will eliminate foundations in the main river channel. Debris accumulation and potential for erosion to the structure will be reduced. Fish passage will be improved.

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  • Damaged concrete sidewalk.

    Damaged concrete sidewalk.

  • Damaged concrete railing and sidewalk.

    Damaged concrete railing and sidewalk.

  • Extensive damage to railing.

    Extensive damage to railing.

  • Damaged concrete in river.

    Damaged concrete in river.

60% Complete

Traffic Impacts

Impacts to traffic will be minimal during this project. Traffic will continue to use the current bridge while we build the new bridge. 

Visit the project webpage for updates.

Click here for the project webpage.

Construction on this project begins in 2022. Project is scheduled to be completed by October 2024.

Once construction begins, we will post updates to TripCheck.

80% Complete

Contact US

Next steps

As we get closer to the project start date, scheduled for 2022, we will have more details about the traffic impacts and potential closures and detours.

We will post the information to the project webpage.

You can sign up to receive updates on this and other projects in eastern Oregon via GovDelivery. Sign up below.

We want to hear from you.

Take a moment to submit your comments and questions via the survey. Your input will help us tailor our future outreach to make sure we are getting the word out about project updates.

OR 82: Bear Creek (Wallowa River) Bridge online open house survey

Contact us for more information

Please contact us if you want more information or wish to comment on the project.

Sign up for project updates

The Oregon Department of Transportation offers subscribers more than 100 specialized email alerts, including contractor bid notices, information for freight haulers, news releases and news about local area commissions on transportation, among other items. To sign up for updates or to access your subscriber preferences, please enter your contact information below.

100% Complete