Beginning next week, U.S. Highway 97 in Oroville will be closed while crews with the Washington State Department of Transportation (DOT) make repairs and improvements to the roadway.

DOT spokesperson Lauren Loebsack says the work involves a critical bridge that spans the Okanogan River.

"They're going to be doing some work to regrade and smooth out some of the highway approaching the bridge and resurfacing the bridge deck where it meets a railroad crossing."

The repairs are necessary due to the deterioration of the roadway over time.

Loebsack says an extensive set of detours will be in place using side roads while the highway is closed and drivers should plan for longer travel times.

"It's important to note that those roads are rural roads and there will be a reduced speed limit. Also on the south and north detours there will be a single-lane bridge that will be managed by a portable traffic signal."

Loebsack adds that the project is not expected to have a major impact on traffic moving to and from the Canadian Border.

The work is scheduled to begin at 7 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 6 and be completed by Thursday, Oct. 5.

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