This project will repave more than 14 miles of Interstate 5 between Hugo and Glendale, construct one 2.8-mile climbing lane and make other safety improvements.
Location: I-5 MP 67.1-81.5 (paving) and MP 66.7-69.5 (NB Sexton climbing lane)
Construction budget: $27.1 million (estimate)
- Prime contractor: Knife
Construction schedule: Spring 2013 to Summer 2014
The 14-mile section of I-5 between the Hugo and Glendale interchanges was last paved in 1995, and has been repaired several times over the years. This area is experiencing normal wear and tear and needs to be resurfaced. Failure to address this now will result in further damage that will require more extensive and costly repairs.
Some of the steepest grades on the Interstate Highway System are located on Interstate 5 in southern Oregon. Although most freeway climbs are built on grades of 5.0 percent or less, northbound I-5 traffic must climb a 6.13 percent grade to reach Sexton Mountain pass. Northbound trucks frequently slow to less than 30 mph, and the difference in speed between these trucks and other vehicles on I-5 can be hazardous. When one slow-moving truck attempts to pass another, both lanes are blocked, forcing the drivers behind them to brake hard or suddenly change lanes to avoid a collision. Some trucks drive along the shoulder, which leaves no room for disabled vehicles.
To address these problems, ODOT will build a 2.8 mile long climbing lane from the Hugo interchange, at the base of Sexton Mountain, to the top of the pass. The climbing lane will be located on top of the existing shoulder, and a new shoulder will be constructed beside it. Slow-moving vehicles will be able to use the climbing lane, and others can pass in the center lane. The left lane can be used for passenger vehicles and other cars traveling the posted speed.
The southbound curves just south of the Smith Hill summit will be worked on to make them safer. Other safety improvements include fixing old or damaged guardrail, replacing median barrier throughout the project, and installing new signs in some locations.
Most of the construction for the Sexton Mountain truck climbing lane can be completed off the roadway, though shoulder closures and some intermittent lane closures may be necessary. Grinding and paving work will require lane closures on I-5, and some ramps may be closed several hours.
ODOT will provide more information to the public and local media prior to and during construction.