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Interchange groundbreaking set for July 29


A crucial tax vote prevented state lawmakers from attending the groundbreaking ceremonies at the Woodburn Interchange Project last week, forcing Oregon Department of Transportation to reschedule the event.

The late notice came just as the much-anticipated $70 million project was about to begin.

A flurry of last-minute bills kept state lawmakers at the legislature, said Lou Torres, ODOT spokesman.

“It was very unfortunate, but when you schedule these events and important dignitaries are scheduled — it sometimes happens,” he said.

Both Senate President Peter Courtney (D-Salem) and Rep. Betty Komp (D-Woodburn) were expected to attend the event, which has been rescheduled for July 29, Torres said.

Construction is still expected to begin in mid-July.

Other invited dignitaries included the Woodburn City Council, Rep. Kurt Schrader and field representatives from both U.S. senators’ offices.

“We were surprised by the short notice, but we are looking forward to the July 29 groundbreaking event that they have rescheduled,” said Jason Horton, communications coordinator for the city.

The postponement does not impact the construction timetable, which could begin as early as this week.

K&E Excavating Inc. of Salem signed the contract with ODOT last week and will begin mobilizing its equipment this week, Torres said.