In this April 2017 file photo, a worker navigates scaffolding underneath the Astoria Bridge.

In this April 2017 file photo, a worker navigates scaffolding underneath the Astoria Bridge.

Colin Murphey/The Daily Astorian

In what has become a rarity this decade, drivers and businesses will not need to concern themselves with prolonged closures next year on the major bridges surrounding Astoria and Warrenton.

The state Department of Transportation is in different phases of refurbishment projects on the Astoria Bridge, New Youngs Bay Bridge, Lewis and Clark River Bridge and Old Youngs Bay Bridge. The Old Youngs Bay and Lewis and Clark projects are nearly complete, while repairs on the other two are scheduled to take place in 2019 and beyond. Though some smaller closures may still occur, it will mark the first time in at least six years that travelers are not expected to endure extended delays, ODOT spokesman Lou Torres said.

“It has to do with funding. You fit them into different steps and you have different funding windows,” he said. “It will probably be a welcomed break for everybody.”

Businesses may be especially enthused. While the state’s improvement projects have been necessary, they tend to have some impact on commerce, said Skip Hauke, director of the Astoria-Warrenton Area Chamber of Commerce.

Read the whole story at The Daily Astorian.