Highway 62 Corridor environmental document due this fall

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With the footprint set, work is beginning on two Bypass Alternatives for the Highway 62 Corridor project, which has been in the making for more than two years by a citizen and technical team. These will now be studied in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

The federally-required DEIS is scheduled for release later this fall.

‘We’re continuing our outreach to businesses and property owners,’ said ODOT Environmental Project Manager Jerry Marmon. ‘As a result of those meetings, we have changed the proposed footprint to reduce project impacts.’

Changes have been made in the area of the proposed Vilas interchange. Now the teams are considering a Single Point Urban Interchange (SPUI), similar to what is currently being constructed at south Medford Interchange.

The corridor alternatives 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 Bypass Alternative, where the Bypass would merge with the existing Highway 62 from I-5 to near the current Butler Truck Center and Lava Lanes. Due to high volumes of traffic, there would be no access to driveways from that point west to I-5. The Poplar/Bullock intersection on Highway 62 would change into either an underpass or overpass.

    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.

    The concepts are available at the project web site, www.oregon.gov/odot/hwy/region3.

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