NEWBERG, Ore. – The bypass built to relieve congestion on Highway 99W from Newberg to Dundee is set to open Saturday.
The four-mile expressway will extend from Highway 219, south of Newberg, to Highway 99W.
The Oregon Department of Transportation said the four-year, $252 million project is on time and under budget.
The new roadway, officially part of Highway 18, will help drivers with destinations other than Newberg and Dundee. So those heading to Spirit Mountain Casino or ocean beaches will be able to skip the local and tourist traffic of the Yamhill County wine country.
ODOT also expects a lot of commercial truck traffic will use the bypass.
“We think 50 to 75 percent of the truck traffic is going to use the bypass, and that's going to cut down on the noise, the pollution," said ODOT spokesman Lou Torres.
The bypass was not without its critics or bumps in the road, but it's done now. And ODOT said it's soon to offer better driving on the bypass, and better livability in Newberg and Dundee.
“It's going to make it a lot more friendly for pedestrians in these communities, bicycles,” said Torres. “And so consequently these communities are already planning and talking about things they want to do in the future with the reduced traffic and congestion.”