Design alternatives narrowed for Highway 62 corridor

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The Highway 62 Corridor project teams have narrowed the remaining alternatives, allowing the Bypass Alternative to be studied in the federally-required Environmental Impact Statement.

After more than two years of meetings, discussions and open houses, the project teams narrowed the decision to the Bypass Alternative with two south corridor options.

This is a significant development,” said Environmental Project Manager Jerry Marmon.

The teams unanimously dismissed the Texas Turnaround and Existing Highway Alternatives because of their costs and impacts to existing businesses.

Now, the technical teams will study the remaining alternatives in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement, scheduled for completion in late spring 2007.
At that time, there will be another open house and 45-day public comment period.

The Oregon 62 corridor from Medford to White City experiences some of the heaviest traffic and congestion in southern Oregon. The volume of traffic in the corridor is similar to that found on Interstate 5 north of Medford and is expected to double in 20 years.

Safety is another major concern on the corridor. Crash rates from Poplar Drive to Delta Waters Road and from Corey Road to Antelope Road exceed the statewide rate, primarily because of the volume of traffic and roadways and driveways located between those points.

The Bypass Alternative would allow through traffic to travel on an access-controlled highway and leave Oregon 62 as it currently is with full access to streets
and driveways.

Here are the two options at the south end of the Bypass Alternative:

  • The Split-Diamond Option modifies the existing ramps north of I-5 exit 30 to accommodate traffic. Drivers would travel on a separate road from I-5 to White City. Oregon 62 would remain as is with full access to businesses.
  • The South Terminus Option merges with the existing highway from I-5 to nearby Butler Truck Center. Due to high traffic volumes, there would be no access from that point west to I-5. The Poplar Drive-Bullock Road intersection with Oregon 62 would be an underpass or overpass.

“We reached out to the businesses and industrial users on the north and south parts of the corridor earlier this year and received some excellent feedback,”Odot Project Manager Debbie Timms said. “We also received good feedback during the open houses we held in September, when a majority of the public said they liked the Split Diamond Option.”

The project designs can be reviewed online at:
 www.oregon.gov/odot/hwy/region3.

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