Oregon 62: Relocation work underway before major construction
Utility relocations between Poplar and Delta Waters herald the start of major road construction on the $120 million Oregon 62 Expressway project.
The Medford Water Commission and Avista Utilities have been performing day and nighttime work on the south end of the expressway project. The utility work has required lane closures along a busy section of Oregon 62.
“Nighttime is a different scene,” said ODOT Senior Inspector Shawn Daw. “Barrels and flaggers come out once traffic wanes in the nighttime.”
The utility work is expected to continue until the project bids in March 2015. Major construction is expected to begin in the spring or summer.
“Utility work is still a construction zone with a definite work area where drivers and pedestrians need to pay attention,” said Daw.
Addressing congestion and safety
The Oregon 62 Expressway project is a multimodal solution that will increase capacity and improve safety along the corridor, a critical business connection for freight, tourism and commuters.
Unfortunately, the Crater Lake Highway (Oregon 62) exceeds capacity standards. Future growth is expected to significantly increase traffic volumes.
The multimodal project adds sidewalks and transit-related enhancements on the existing Oregon 62 corridor. The project will also build a four-lane access-controlled expressway that provides faster travel and improved safety within and through the region.
The 4.5-mile expressway will start with three lanes of eastbound traffic at Poplar and Bullock Roads near Fred Meyer. Through traffic will turn left on a small directional interchange located across from Whittle Road. Traffic will then travel along a four-lane expressway on the east side of the Medford Airport, span over Vilas Road, and Coker Butte connect to the existing Crater Lake Highway near Corey Road. Traffic destined for commercial centers such as Costco, Lowe’s and Safeway will continue as is done today.
For westbound traffic, three lanes of traffic will extend through the Poplar-Bullock intersection. The existing Hilton Road jug-handle design from Biddle Road will change so that merging traffic will stop before it enters the westbound Oregon 62 lanes.
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From the Final Environmental Impact Statement
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