Warmer weather signals paving work on Oregon 62-Owen/Coker Butte project

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Drivers in east Medford should prepare for an increase in construction activity after a relatively quiet winter on the Oregon 62 Owen-Coker Butte project.

“The project is on schedule and construction work will ramp up as the weather improves,” said Medford City Engineer Larry Beskow.

The Oregon 62 Owen-Coker Butte project in northeast Medford is designed to improve safety and traffic flow, reducing congestion on Crater Lake Highway and Crater Lake Avenue.

Prime contractor Knife River Corporation focused its work primarily on Crater Lake Avenue and Webfoot Drive since the project began in summer 2010. The last major project milestone was in November 2010 when the contractor activated the new Owen Drive signal, a new four-way, signalized intersection that connects the shopping center, Owen and Springbrook Drive.

The work on the east side of Oregon 62 realigns Crater Lake Avenue. Blue business access signs have been up to notify motorists that both driveways and businesses are open during construction.

According to Beskow, if weather permits in April, prime contractor Knife River Corporation will begin paving the north side of the project at Coker Butte and Crater Lake Avenue. Later this summer, Knife River will work to connect Crater Lake Avenue through a section of the Hertz car dealership.

“The City of Medford purchased that section of property back in 1992,” Beskow said. The City was looking ahead to a project such as this. When Hertz located there they knew a road project would eventually use a portion of that property in the future.”

The icing on the cake comes at the end of the summer when Oregon 62 is paved, which means the project will be finished.

The two-year project makes the following transportation improvements:
• Moves the Cardinal Avenue traffic signal south to the improved Owen Drive, which becomes a four-way intersection;
• Limits right turns only at theintersection of Cardinal Avenue and Oregon 62;
• Closes the existing Webfoot Road and Coker Butte Road intersections east of Oregon 62; and
• Improves Crater Lake Avenue by moving it farther east from Oregon 62 at both Owen Drive and the new four-way Coker Butte intersection. This will improve the safety of the intesection by removing the frequent conflicts that arise because access was unsignalized and the intersections were too close to one another.

For more project information visit the City of Medford’s project website: www.ci.medford.or.us/Projects.asp.

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