After more than two years of work and public outreach, the Highway 62 Corridor project teams narrowed the solutions down to the Bypass Alternative with two south corridor options. These will now be studied in the Draft Environment Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
“This is a significant development,” said ODOT Environmental Project Manager Jerry Marmon. “The teams put a lot of time and energy into this process to reach this milestone.”
The Highway 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. It’s expected to double in 20 years.
Safety is another 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 project’s technical teams will study the Bypass Alternative with two south corridor options in the Draft EIS, which is scheduled for completion in late spring 2007. Once the Draft is ready, ODOT will host a open house and open a 45-day public comment period.
The Bypass Alternative would allow through traffic to travel on an access-controlled highway and leave Highway 62 as it currently is with full access to streets and driveways.
The two options at the south end to the Bypass are:
- The Split-Diamond option, which would modify the existing ramps north of Interstate 5 exit 30 to accommodate Bypass traffic. Motorists would travel on a separate road from I-5 to White City. The existing alignment on Oregon Highway 62 would remain as is with full access to businesses.
- The South Terminus option, where the Bypass would merge with the existing Highway 62 from I-5 to near the current Butler Truck Center. Due to high volumes of traffic, there would be no access from that point west to I-5. The Poplar/Bullock intersection on Highway 62 would change into either an underpass or overpass.
The project teams unanimously dismissed the Texas Turnaround and Existing Highway alternatives because of their costs and impacts to existing businesses.
The concepts are available at the project web site, www.oregon.gov/odot/hwy/region3.