Next phase of improvements on I-5/Beltline interchange underway
The next phase of improvements to the I-5/Beltline interchange, which connects two key highways in the Eugene/Springfield area, will get underway this year.
The interchange is located at the northern boundary of Oregon’s second largest metropolitan center. Originally constructed in 1968, where dairy farms and pastures once occupied much of the area, today the land is being developed for residential, retail commercial use, interstate traveler services and industrial centers providing regional employment. The once rural interchange cannot accommodate the increase in traffic, creating congestion, delays and safety problems.
ODOT has already made significant upgrades to this interchange, including a flyover ramp connecting northbound I-5 to westbound Beltline Highway. The modernization project has been divided into smaller units to make it easier to construct parts of the project as funding becomes available. Unit 1, which included the flyover ramp connecting northbound I-5 to westbound Beltline, was completed in late 2009, and Unit 2 was completed in the Summer of 2011.
The additional work to be done in Units 3 and 4 will continue to modernize the interchange, which serves interstate, regional, and local traffic to the surrounding residential and commercial centers. The units will continue to correct deficiencies to enable the interchange to safely accommodate travel demands 20 years into the future.
Unit 3 includes a number of important elements:
·         A new I-5 southbound to westbound Beltline off-ramp.
·         A new I-5 southbound to eastbound Beltline off-ramp.
·         A new westbound Beltline to southbound I-5 on-ramp.
·         A new Beltline Bridge over I-5.
When Unit 3 is complete, people getting off southbound I-5 onto eastbound Beltline will no longer have to dodge vehicles entering the freeway from Beltline, improving safety.
The planned improvements being proposed for Unit 4 include:
·         A new eastbound Beltline auxiliary lane from Coburg Road to southbound I-5 on ramp;
·         A new southbound I-5 auxiliary lane from Beltline Hwy to I-105;
·         A new eastbound Beltline to northbound I-5 on-ramp, including a structure over I-5
·         A multi-use path to connect south of the interchange to north of the interchange.
·         Soundwalls in several locations.
Construction for Unit 3 will begin this summer and be completed in 2014. Construction for Unit 4 is expected to begin in 2015, upon the completion of Unit 3. For more information, visit the project’s webpage.