I-5 Rogue Valley Corridor Plan looks to the future

« Back to the June 2011 edition

The public is encouraged to provide input as ODOT assesses existing and future transportation conditions along the Interstate 5 and Oregon Highway 99 corridors from exit 11 south of Ashland to exit 35 north of Central Point.

The I-5 Rogue Valley Corridor Plan will identify strategies and improvements to enhance transportation safety and capacity within the corridors.

“The purpose is to discuss potential future projects and operations,” said ODOT Planning Manager Mike Baker. “I-5 was originally designed to provide capacity for a 20-year period of projected travel demand. With a quarter of the nation’s exports and imports passing through the corridor annually, I-5 is the third most heavily traveled truck corridor in the United States.”

The entire I-5 corridor is one of six interstate routes selected by the U.S. Department of Transportation for the ‘Corridors of the Future’ program aimed at developing innovative national and regional approaches to reduce congestion and improve the efficiency of freight delivery. Possible concepts include building new roads and adding lanes to existing roads and integrating real-time traffic technology such as lane management that can match available capacity on roads to changing traffic demands.

The I-5 corridor was selected for the ‘Corridors of the Future’ program due to its potential to use public and private resources to reduce traffic congestion.

I-5 is a continuous interstate corridor extending through the United States from Mexico to Canada. As Oregon’s main north-south transportation facility, it is a critical link for moving commerce and people within the state and into and out of the neighboring states of California and Washington. The corridor connects all of the major population centers of the western seaboard, including San Diego, Santa Ana, Anaheim, Los Angeles, Sacramento, Portland, and Seattle. It also functions as an international thoroughfare by connecting to highways in Mexico and Canada.

According to Baker, the ultimate outcome of this plan will be to initiate solutions that meet ODOT’s mission statement: Provide a safe, efficient transportation system that supports economic opportunity and livable communities for Oregonians.

ODOT hosted its second public meeting about the plan on May 10. A series of presentations to city councils within the corridor is planned for this summer.

“We’re nearing the end of the planning process but there’s still time for public input,” Baker said. “Our goal is to have the plan completed by the end of the summer.”

For more information about the I-5 Rogue Valley Corridor Plan, contact ODOT Planning Manager Mike Baker at (541) 957-3658 or via email at michael.baker@odot.state.or.us.

« Back to the June 2011 edition