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US 97: J Street Intersection (Madras South Y) Project
 
   
 
Current News
Open House held January 24, 2013 at City Hall 
The City of Madras and the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) hosted an Open House to give residents and businesses a chance to review the current plans for improving the safety and operation of the intersections of U.S. 97 and J Street in Madras.  Approximately 35 people attended. 
  
Much of the discussion centered around access, changes in travel patterns and parking. 
 
Latest Project Update - January 2013 
Currently ODOT and the City have identified nearly $6.0 million in the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) to construct a first phase of the master plan.  The first phase will focus on the realignment of northbound U.S. 97 and operational improvements at the U.S. 97 / J Street intersections.  The City and ODOT are both actively seeking additional project funding for this first phase.  Learn more... 

Why is this project needed?
Picture of the intersection of US 97 and J Street in Madras, Oregon, looking west. 
Intersection of US 97 and J Street in Madras, looking west.
Providing a safe, efficient transportation system that supports economic opportunity and livable communities is important to both the City of Madras and ODOT.  U.S. 97 and J Street are critical part of the State’s and the City’s transportation system.  U.S. 97 is classified as an “Urban Principal Arterial” through the town of Madras and carries a high volume of freight and tourist traffic between the Washington and California borders.  Both U.S. 97 and J Street are important roadways for local traffic.   
 
J Street in the City of Madras intersects U.S. 97 at the southern end of the 4th/5th Street Couplet.  Currently the section of J Street located between 4th and 5th Streets is only 50 feet in length, which creates an unsafe condition because it does not provide adequate room for vehicles waiting to cross the intersection or turn onto U.S. 97.  Recently the City has constructed an extension of J Street to the east and northeast of the intersection with U.S. 97 and this street now functions as a major east-west route.  An increase in traffic volumes along J Street and at the intersection with U.S. 97 is driving the need for the redesign of the intersections and eventually the installation of signals. 
 
Through a Cooperative Improvement Agreement, the City of Madras and the ODOT have teamed up to prepare a design for the intersection of J Street and US 97 in Madras (aka the “South Y” Project).  The design will be primarily based on the options adopted in the City of Madras Transportation System Plan Refinement Plans and Amendments.  ODOT and City staff evaluated two options (A and B) identified in the Plan (ref. attachment, “Alternative Concepts of US97 Realignment Shown”).  The final alignment results in further separation of the northbound and southbound lanes of U.S. 97 at J Street.

Project Timeline
The City and ODOT selected a preferred alignment (Option Modified B) in Fall 2008.   The first phase of the overall master plan is planned for construction in 2014.  The immediate next steps are to acquire right of way, finalize the design, develop contract documents and advertise the contract.  Below is the current schedule.
 

Acquire Right of Way   Fall 2011 - Summer 2013
Develop Preliminary, Advanced and Final Plans  
Spring 2012 - Spring 2014
Bid Opening Projected for Summer 2014, pending acquiring additional funding
Construction Projected for 2014-2016, pending acquiring additional funding

Public Involvement
Three public open houses have been held.  A fourth open house is planned January 24, 2013.
 
The first Open House was Tuesday, December 11, 2007, the second was Tuesday, October 28, 2008 and the third was held Tuesday, May 25, 2010.  All were held at the fire hall in Madras.  Approximately 25 people attended the first open house, 40 at the second and nearly 50 at the third. 
 
 
Project Materials
 
Project Team
The multi-disciplined Project Development Team was formed early in 2007 and meets on at least a monthly basis.  The Team is made up of technical experts in Right-of-Way, Surveying, Planning, Traffic Engineering (including Access Management), Utility Engineering, Roadway Engineering, Engineering Geology, Environmental, Hazardous Materials, Construction, and Public Affairs.  The City of Madras representative on the Team is the City's Public Works Director, Jeff Hurd.  The Project Leader from ODOT is Mike Darling. 

Name Title Phone Number
Jeff Hurd City Public Works Director   (541) 475-2622
Mike Darling    Project Leader, ODOT (541) 388-6329
Rex Holloway Community Liaison, ODOT (541) 388-6178