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US 26 at Gumwood Lane
Current News

Construction News

ODOT awarded the $1.1 million construction contract to Goodfellow Bros., Inc. in September 2012.  Work began in November.  The contractor is currently widening the shoulders working at night, Monday thru Friday morning.  Motorists can expect single lane closures with up to 20 minute delays.​

US 26 east of Gumwood Lane looking west.
US 26 east of Gumwood Lane looking west.
Project Components
  • Realign NW Gumwood Lane (east) intersection with U.S. 26
  • Widen shoulders to eight feet along U.S. 26 from NW Columbia Drive to NW Gumwood Lane (west)
  • Widen the shoulders to ten feet at the Gumwood Lane (east) intersection with U.S. 26
  • Flatten slopes on the sides of the road
  • Install rumble strips along the highway shoulders and centerline
  • Upgrade signs, as needed
  • Remove vegetation blocking sight distances, as needed
Final Project Design
 

Project Location
The project is located approximately 7 miles north of Madras, Oregon and spans the portion of US 26 between NW Columbia Drive to NW Gumwood Lane (west).  See the vicinity map for more detail. 
 
Vicinity Map

Project Purpose
The purpose of this project is to address safety issues along U.S. 26 in the vicinity of NW Gumwood Lane.

Why this project is needed
U.S. 26 is a critical part of the State’s transportation system.  This highway carries a large volume of traffic from Portland to Central Oregon, and is classified as a statewide freight route.  U.S. 26 is equally important to local residents to access schools, shopping and getting their farm products to market.  Keeping traffic moving and highways safe are critical parts of ODOT’s mission.
 
The section of U.S. 26 between NW Columbia Drive and NW Gumwood Lane (west) has a significant crash history.  Over the last 10 years, from January 1999 to December 2008, there have been 27 reported crashes.  The crashes have resulted in one fatality and five severe (life threatening) injuries.  Based on crash frequency, crash rate, and crash severity during six of the last ten years, the section of U.S. 26 in the vicinity of NW Gumwood Lane (west) has been ranked as one of top 10% worst crash sites in Oregon.
 
Analysis of crash data shows that most of the crashes are due to the narrow cross section of the highway, limited sight distance, the close spacing of intersections, and the close proximity of the end of the climbing lanes coming up the grade from Warm Springs to the intersection of U.S. 26 and NW Gumwood Lane (west).
 
The location with the most significant safety concern is at the east end of the climbing lane in the vicinity of the western intersection of NW Gumwood Lane.  Here vehicles on U.S. 26 are traveling at high speeds up the Warm Springs grade, aided by a climbing lane, with very limited mainline and intersection sight distance. 
 
The intersection is on a curved incline with limited sight distance at the closing end of the climbing lane.  Eastbound vehicles often “race” to make final passes around slower moving vehicles towards the top, and westbound vehicles often “race” to pass vehicles before entering the curves going down the grade.  Also, vehicles turning left onto U.S. 26 from NW Gumwood
Lane at this location do not have adequate sight distance to the west.  This combination of issues creates a hazard and potential for a high number of severe crashes.
 
Nearby intersections also have safety issues, especially the eastern intersection of U.S. 26 and NW Gumwood Lane and the intersection of U.S. 26 and NW Columbia Drive.  These county roads approach U.S. 26 at very sharp angles that limit sight distances.  Vehicles often stop along the shoulder of the road in these areas to try gain better visibility before making a turn.

How ODOT proposes to solve these problems
ODOT, Jefferson County, law enforcement agencies and local residents looked at a number of different options.  Everyone agreed that the main priority was to widen the shoulders along U.S. 26 and to flatten the side slopes.  Shoulders will be widened to eight feet except at intersections where they will be widened to ten feet.  When the shoulders are widened, the side slope will be flattened so in case someone leaves the highway they can still control their vehicle and not have a severe crash.  Rumble strips will be installed on the shoulders and centerline in this stretch of highway.
 
NW Gumwood Lane (east) will be realigned with U.S. 26 to improve the sight distance for those entering the main highway.   A left hand turn lane for motorists traveling east on U.S. 26 and a deceleration lane for those traveling west on U.S. 26 are not planned at this time at NW Gumwood Lane (east) due to small volume of traffic using this intersection and the lack of funding.  However, as stated above, the shoulders at the intersection will be widened to ten feet.
 
Signage in the project area will be evaluated and replaced or upgraded as necessary.  Vegetation in the vicinity of the NW Gumwood Lane (east) area that is limiting sight distance will be trimmed or removed.

Key Project Milestones
 Preliminary Design     2010
 Final Design  2012
 Bid Let Date  Summer 2012
 Construction  Fall 2012 - Spring 2013

Project Materials
October 2010 Open House Flyer 
Project Information Paper
US 26 at Gumwood Lane Survey

ODOT Contacts
Name
Title Office Phone
Email address
Jay Davenport​ Project Manager ​(541 388-6383 Jay.Davenport@ODOT.state.or.us ​
Ana Jovanovic Project Leader (541) 388-6046  Ana.Jovanovic@ODOT.state.or.us 
Rex Holloway Community Liaison   (541) 388-6178 Rex.A.Holloway@ODOT.state.or.us