After a wet winter and spring, construction resumes this month at the Siskiyou Rest Area and Welcome Center. The new Interstate 5 facility is being constructed roughly two miles south of Ashland’s Exit 14.
The old rest area was closed in 1997 for public safety, following a series of commercial truck crashes on the steep grade. Construction on the new rest area and welcome center began in November 2015.
The facility will serve as a signature destination for northbound travelers, those just needing to stretch their legs and visitors to Oregon wanting to learn more about the state’s tourism opportunities.
Prime contractor Wildish Standard Paving of Eugene provided earthwork, paving and drainage during the project’s first phase. That work included grading and paving the I-5 ramps as well as construction of the facility’s parking lot, driveways and a service road from Crowson Road. The service road is used to deliver materials during construction and, later, for daily operational needs, including staff and deliveries.
The second phase of construction involves building two Cascadia-themed buildings to add a gateway theme for visitors. The environmentally friendly design and sustainable ethic will complement the Welcome to Oregon sign at the California border as well as the new interchange aesthetics constructed at Ashland Exits 14 and 19.