A makeover that will enhance safety and livability along Oregon 99 from Talent south to the Ashland city limits is slated to begin this summer.
The $5.4 million project will improve Oregon 99 from Rapp Road to Creel Road in Talent with urban improvements including new curb, gutter and driveways in addition to sidewalks and bike lanes. The city of Talent is contributing $400,000 to the project.
“What makes this a particularly great project is the impact it presents across the board,” said Talent Mayor Darby Stricker. “It’s not just safety but also livability and economic development potential for Talent.”
One of the project’s early supporters, Mayor Stricker said it will contribute to a strong business corridor by providing better visibility for business and better access to driveways.
The project will be constructed in various sections over two construction seasons. During this summer, Oregon 99 will be paved and restriped from the Talent city limits south to Ashland. Most of that work will convert the highway to three lanes with a center turn lane and bike lanes. At the same time, work is planned in Talent to relocate utilities across Oregon 99 from Rapp Road to Creel Road.
In spring 2018, the main construction work in Talent begins. From Rapp Road to Creel Road, improvements will include the aforementioned curb, gutter, sidewalk, storm drain and driveways.
“This will be one of the pivotal project for Talent and its future,” said Stricker.
According to ODOT District Manager Jerry Marmon, the section of Oregon 99 from South Valley View to Jackson Road will remain in its five-lane configuration because of the weave-and-merge traffic that accesses Oregon 99, Interstate 5, nearby businesses and the Bear Creek Greenway.
Sidewalks will be constructed south of South Valley View Road, where on average nearly 17,000 vehicles use the highway daily. The traffic volumes are roughly half that amount North of South Valley View Road.
“We’re accommodating all users and making Oregon 99 safer for residents and business customers who make a left turn,” said Marmon.