OREGON CITY, Ore. -- The historic Arch Bridge, a vital connection between Oregon City and West Linn, is about to reopen after two years of repairs.

Those two years have been difficult for businesses in downtown Oregon City. Before closing, the Arch Bridge carried up to 14,000 commuters per day.

J.J. Foster and her mother opened a knitting shop, just months before the bridge closed. They ve struggled to keep the shop open for the last couple years.

Now they re hoping customers like Becky Wilson will return.

It s going to be a lot easier to get over here and I ll be able to frequent these establishments a lot more, Wilson told KGW Thursday. Because that s been hard. We ve had to take a roundabout way.

When the bridge reopens on October 15, drivers likely won't notice many changes. Because it's listed on the National Registry of Historical Places, the bridge has to look like it did before.

But the bridge has been strengthened to better withstand earthquakes, its guard rails are sturdier and its lighting has been improved, according to the Oregon Dept. of Transportation. The bridge could not be widened, but some of its posts were moved back five inches to give drivers a bit more room.


KGWReporter Keely Chalmers contributed to this report.

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