Major changes to Interstate 84 between exits 63 and 64 are planned to start next week and will remain for roughly a year until construction of a new bridge over exit 64 is completed. Changes entail a “split diamond” rerouting of freeway traffic, which will isolate through traffic from merging traffic. Both eastbound and westbound lanes will be split in two, with only one lane of through traffic between the two exits. n Through traffic: Vehicles passing through without exiting at either exit will merge into one lane between the two exits. n Eastbound: From downtown Hood River, eastbound access to I-84 must either use Exit 64 to enter the interstate, or use Exit 63 (downtown), travel on an isolated lane into the recently-rebuilt intersection at Button Bridge Road and merge onto I-84 from Exit 64. Traffic from I-84 wanting to reach Highway 35 must use Exit 63 and travel through downtown Hood River. Westbound: Traffic traveling west on I-84 must use Exit 64 to reach the downtown Hood River Exit 63. Lanes will be isolated between the two exits and traffic will not be allowed to merge. Highway 35 traffic and traffic coming from Washington headed west on I-84 must either travel down an isolated lane from Exit 64 to Exit 63 or pass through downtown Hood River to Exit 63. An ODOT spokesman explained that isolating freeway traffic to only one lane per direction is necessary for safety and to replace the high-use bridge while keeping the interstate open. Project staff will observe traffic flows throughout the project to make sure things are flowing safely. Activation this week of new traffic signals at Button Bridge Road should ease congestion at the busy intersection. The long-awaited improvements to the intersection should keep traffic flowing more smoothly during peak hours when cars headed to Washington often back up to beyond Exit 64’s off ramp. To learn more about the project visitSeptember 21, 2010 12:45 p.m. read more..