Construction begins later this month on the Oregon 99 corridor from Talent to Ashland. With utility companies having completed their relocates out of the public right of way, prime contractor Knife River Materials will start paving and restriping Oregon 99 as part of a $5.4 million enhancement project, which extends from Rapp Road in Talent south to the Ashland city limits. Planned urban improvements from Rapp Road to Creel Road include new curb, gutters, sidewalks, bike lanes and driveways.
The city of Talent is contributing $400,000 to the project, featured at a community-wide open house event in Talent last January.
“This will be one of the pivotal projects for Talent and its future,” said Talent Mayor Darby Stricker. “What makes this a particularly great project is the impact it presents across the board. It’s not just safety but also livability and economic development potential for Talent.”
Mayor Stricker said the urban improvements will contribute to a strong business corridor by providing better visibility for business and better access to driveways.
The section of Oregon 99 from north of South Valley View to Jackson Road will remain in its current five-lane configuration because of the weave-and-merge traffic that accesses Oregon 99, Interstate 5, nearby businesses and the Bear Creek Greenway.
A new bike lane will be added on northbound Oregon 99 from Jackson Road to South Valley View Road, a benefit for local riders who use the highway to connect to the Bear Creek Greenway near South Valley View Road.
“This improvement has been on Talent’s wish list for some time,” said ODOT Area Manager Art Anderson. “The enhancement project will provide a safer roadway for residents and business customers as well as those who are driving, riding or walking the corridor.”