continued from page 9 • Develop concepts to improve safety and maximize operational efﬁciency; • Evaluate the need for capacity improvements to address future needs based on the adopted comprehensive land use plans of Medford and Jackson County; • Identify potential local system enhancements that maintain connectivity and complement the viaduct’s function; • Coordinate the study’s efforts with other plans and projects in the study area; and • Prioritize viaduct improvements with consideration for potential funding mechanisms. “When you start talking about replacement, project costs start at hundreds of millions of dollars,” Cortes said. “It is imperative that we look at improvements at a lower range of costs that optimize public dollars.
September 5, 2014
However, the scale of major project concepts, such as a full replacement of the Medford viaduct, or the addition of another deck atop I-5, far exceeds the level of transportation funding expected through year 2020. ODOT in partnership with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) prepares environmental documentation for each transportation project that receives federal-aid funding or federal approval from FHWA as required by NEPA. Unlike the facility plan, which develops a 20-year vision for the structure and the community, the environmental study goes much deeper, addressing the challenges presented by 52 years of residential and commercial growth around the Medford viaduct. “The Medford viaduct was originally constructed in 1962,” said Cortes. “Medford looked a lot different back then.”
Moving Ahead - Fall Edition 2014