ODOT Moving Ahead - April 2011

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“ A lot of citizens Group’ alternative, which was presented to the project’s CAC and PDT for review and inclusion in the federallyrequired planning document. “The ‘Working Group’ alternative didn’t make sense for drivers,” said District Manager Jerry Marmon. “The design forced drivers heading to the coast to start in the right lane and then end up in the far left lane to get to their destination.” In February 2008, the CAC and PDT selected Alternative A, a design that allowed traffic to move easily through the corridor while accommodating local businesses along the highway and those on a redesigned Redwood Avenue. Alternative A received some local business support, including the Grants Pass Chamber of Commerce Director Jon Jordan who sat on the project’s development team. However, concerns by several other businesses and locally-elected officials stopped the larger project. “ODOT will not build a project in a community that does not support the improvements,” said Area Manager Art Anderson, “and that is the case with Grants Pass and Josephine County.” Phase three shelved Anderson said the lack of community support was disheartening in light of all the recent state transportation projects in and around Josephine County.


April 1, 2011


and business owners volunteered their time to make Their community safer. — ODOT Area Manager Art Anderson

“Over the last few years, ODOT has invested millions into Grants Pass, rebuilding the south Grants Pass exit on Interstate 5, replacing the I-5 bridge over Beacon Drive and adding a passing lane between Hayes Hill and the Applegate River Bridge,” said Anderson. “And that’s in addition to completing the first phase of US 199 Expressway project.” RVACT met in Grants Pass in March 2011. The Commission voted unanimously to remove the remaining $4.5 million from the final phase of the US 199 Expressway project. Following the vote, ACT members from Josephine County requested that the funds be reassigned to another project in the county. That request will be debated at the next RVACT meeting scheduled in May. “I’m disappointed to see this transportation need left unresolved, especially after a thorough public planning process,” Anderson said. “A lot of citizens and business owners volunteered their time to make their community safer. They should be acknowledged for their efforts.”