DAYTON, Ore. (KOIN) — Anyone who’s driven along Hwy 99 to visit wineries or the coast knows what a headache the bottleneck through Newberg and Dundee can be. It’s the reason the Newberg-Dundee Bypass is being built.
Although phase 1 of the project may look like it’s ready to use, KOIN 6 News learned it will be another 5 months before the 4-mile stretch of bypass actually opens.
Work on the project has been underway for nearly 4 years. The bypass, which starts just north of downtown Newberg and ends past downtown Dundee, is expected to cut traffic by 20-40% once it’s complete.
People who currently travel through the area say they can’t wait for brutal traffic backups to become a thing of the past.
“A lot of locals I know are looking forward to it,” Jonathan Duncan with Methven Family Vineyards said. “I think it’ll be a great opportunity for us to get more people coming through here and not dreading the traffic.”
Google Earth images show how much of the bypass is already in place where it will rejoin Hwy 99 just west of Dundee. But at the east end, crews are still shaping the spur that will connect Hwy 99 with the bypass via Springbrook Road.
Impact has been minimal to people who live in the area since much of the Newberg-Dundee Bypass is new route construction. But starting Wednesday, the intersection on the east end of the bypass will be closed to traffic for about 3 weeks.
Tim Potter with the Oregon Department of Transportation said constant traffic is the ongoing reason that specific part of the project has been behind the others.
But the good news is, the bypass is still projected to open in November.