ODOT's initial estimates were that repairs would take four weeks to complete. The department now expects to have I-5 open to all traffic by March 26, with loading on the bridge at the full permit limit of 105,500 pounds.
However, the repair will only be a temporary fix. Within three to five years, the bridge will need to be completely replaced.
Built in 1957, Fords Bridge was designed to handle loads up to 74,000 pounds gross vehicle weight. Today, with higher legal and permitted loads and more truck traffic, severe fatigue cracks have developed in the bridge. Earlier this week, officials started limiting the bridge to loads of less than 64,000 pounds.