A Mail Tribune Advertising Department publication
Department of Transportation
ON OUR COVER ODOT is much more than the state’s highway department established 100 years ago. Today, ODOT is a nationallyrecognized leader in innovative partnerships and alternative funding. The agency is involved in transportation including heavy and light rail, bus, truck, pedestrian and bicycle. Additionally, ODOT collaborates with state and federal agencies that manage aviation and maritime resources.
Josephine County Fairgrounds Signal
Construction on schedule for completion before Boatnik
Nighttime Work on Tap Near Eagle Point
Repaving project addresses 3.6-mile stretch of Oregon 62
Fern Valley Interchange Delayed Six Months Bid date pushed with construction slated for 2014
INSIDE COVER Prime contractor Knife River Corporation clears away ground for a new northbound truck climbing lane on Interstate 5.
Oregon’s Case for Electric Vehicles
Statewide network features more than 800 charging stations
EDITORIAL DIRECTORS Jared Castle, (541) 957-3656 email@example.com
CONTRIBUTORS Bret Jackson Graphic Design
Gary Leaming, (541) 774-6388 firstname.lastname@example.org
Steve Johnson Photography
ADVERTISING Contact Dena DeRose at (541) 776-4439 or email@example.com
Jared Castle, Gary Leaming Writing Sally Ridenour, Shelley Snow Editing
This feature publication is produced separately from the Mail Tribune’s newspaper editorial department. All content is provided or approved by the Oregon Department of Transportation. ODOT is an equal opportunity / affirmative action employer committed to a diverse workforce. Accommodations will be provided to persons with disabilities. Alternate formats available upon request.
A special thank you to two local businesses for assisting with the cover photo: Bob Crow, Mercedes-Benz of Medford Robert Sacks, Lithia Nissan of Medford 541-774-1000, www.mbzmedford.com 877-862-9330, www.lithianissanmedford.com
April 23, 2011
April 5, 2013
ODOT RETURNS TO
Just off Interstate 5 exit 40, the Kane Creek culvert runs beneath a short access road that connects the southbound I-5 ramps to Old Stage Road, a fitting name as it is one of the oldest roads in the Rogue Valley.
The ODOT project team examined different approaches to replace the culvert, including whether to build a temporary detour structure and roadway or use an extended closure of the connector road.
Prime contractor Carter and Company of Salem will replace the rusting culvert with a new bridge of prefabricated components. This is the second of two state projects involving Kane Creek. The first project removed an obsolete fish ladder and improved a section of stream habitat.
“We considered construction under traffic with a short detour route,” said ODOT Project Leader Jayne Randleman, “but that would’ve added months to the construction schedule.”
“This is an instance where you think you’re just driving down the road and don’t realize you’re driving over a waterway, in fact a stream that’s critical fish spawning habitat,” said ODOT Public Service Representative Dennis Steers. Work began last February to clear vegetation in the project area.
The culvert replacement project will use precast girders and supports instead, allowing the road to reopen in a shorter amount of time. During some shortterm closures, traffic will be directed to use either I-5 exit 43 to enter Gold Hill or use Lampman Road to connect to Old Stage Road, Dardanelle’s Market, and through to Jacksonville. ODOT met with affected residents, businesses and the local fire district in developing the construction plan. continued on page 6
April 5, 2013
to your business by Moving Ahead with ODOT! Contact us today to find out how to increase revenue potential by marketing to 79,600 active consumers across Jackson and Josephine Counties!
Get the information you need to travel smoothly and pick up your free copy of Moving Ahead at one of these ﬁne locations. MEDFORD Chamber of Commerce 101 E 8th St
Jackson County Library
7200 Williams Hwy
New Hope Market
555 Siskiyou Blvd
Highland Market Chamber of Commerce
5220 New Hope Rd
3545 Demary Dr
205 S Central Ave
1065 Siskiyou Blvd
Jerome Prairie Store
1145 Siskiyou Blvd
Willow Lane Market
250 E Barnett Rd
500 N Riverside Ave
818 N Riverside Ave
The Rifﬂe Café
98 Central Ave
5229 Redwood Ave
1710 Shutzwohl Ln
1193 Siskiyou Blvd
650 Redwood Hwy
1801 Siskiyou Blvd
Town & Country Market
1910 Redwood Ave
450 Merlin Rd 1824 Highland Ave 1995 NW Vine St
Les Schwab Tire Center 1694 NW 6th St
Dairy Queen 1647 NW 6th St
Asante Occupational Health
1450 Ashland St
The Laundry Room
600 Tolman Creek Rd
The Redwoods Restaurant
2308 Ashland St
Farmer’s Building Supply
2359 Ashland St
Farmer’s Feed & Pet Supply
Ed’s Tire Factory
2525 Ashland St
Port of Entry
1710 Schutzwohl Ln
Ashland Chamber of Commerce
1044 NE 6th St
Witham’s Truck Stop
1690 Allen Creek Rd
Josephine County Courthouse
333 SE 8th St
500 NW 6th St
Les Schwab Tire Center 701 N Riverside Ave
727 Medford Center 2230 Biddle Rd 2390 N Paciﬁc Hwy 2343 Biddle Rd
Rogue Valley Transportation
Les Schwab Tire Co Knights Inn
Les Schwab Tire Center Britt Festival
2095 Commerce Blvd 216 W Main St
Medford Visitors Center 1314 Center Dr
Les Schwab Tire Co 2121 S Paciﬁc Hwy
Rogue Valley Council of Governments 155 N 1st St
3730 Fern Valley Rd
WHITE CITY Oregon Dept of Transportation-ODOT 100 Antelope Rd
1741 Dowell Rd
News & Smokes
110 E. Main St.
Roe Motors GM 201 NE 7th St
836 NE A St
D & D Auto Sales Granite Hill Market
Ray’s Food Place
Why Not Market
Lil’ Pantry Market
1600 NE 7th St
106 Granite Hill Rd
Grants Pass Pkwy
1641 Rogue River Hwy
Dutch Bros 332 NW 6th St
245 SE G St
340 NE Beacon Dr
1330 NW 6th St
Blind George’s Newsstand
Black Forest Restaurant 820 NE E St
1421 NW 6th St
820 NE E St
870 NE D St
1505 NW Washington Blvd
1720 Redwood Ave
1750 Dowell Rd
GRANTS PASS Circle K
3200 Crater Lake Ave
1720 Redwood Ave
117 SW G St 140 SW G St
Quiki Mart 556 SW G St
3500 Merlin Rd
C&D Short Stop
148 Merlin Rd
Whitehorse Country Store
1309 SW G St
Bridge Street Store
Quiki Mart & Deli x Press
Les Schwab Tire Center
732 SW Bridge St
Kelly’s Market & Deli
610 SW 6th St
Joe Creek Waterfalls General Store
5030 Monument Rd
1190 Rogue River Hwy
5635 Riverbanks Rd
1070 Rogue River Hwy 935 Rogue River Hwy 605 NE 7th St
Li’l Pantry - Fruitdale 979 Rogue River Hwy
7845 Redwood Hwy 320 Union Ave
410 Jump Off Joe Creek Rd
7501 Lower River Rd
Village Market 2035 SW Bridge St
Jackson County Parks
Ray’s Food Place
Jackson County Parks
Computer Lab/Williams Country Store
699 Jump Off Joe Creek Rd
Sunny Valley Market
790 SW 6th St
Town & Country Market 2482 Williams Hwy
Glenway Superstore (Glendale)
2475 Williams Hwy
Wolf Creek General Store
6410 Williams Hwy
Lake Creek Store
200 Antelope Rd 400 Antelope Rd
7600 Crater Lake Hwy
ASHLAND La Quinta Inn
434 S Valley View Rd
1555 Williams Hwy 2674 Williams Hwy
South 40 Farm Supply Murphy General Store Ray’s Food Place
3600 Merlin Rd
397 Old Highway 99 221 Old Highway 99
764 SW 6th St
7-Eleven 913 SE 6th St
For more information, call 541-776-4422 odotmovingahead.com
April 5, 2013
The Oregon Legislature appropriated $10 million for the transportation agency to organize and fund operation expenses. The necessity for transportation investment was clear: Oregon in 1913 contained 25 miles of paved roads and 14,000 automobiles. Muddy trails that served horse-drawn wagons and stagecoaches were not sufficient.
McCullough video celebrates agency’s 100th anniversary One hundred years ago Oregonians created their own State Highway Department under the slogan “Getting Oregon Out of the Mud.”
continued from page 4
Stream restoration Last year, ODOT removed a fish ladder downstream from the culvert under Lampman Road, which runs parallel to I-5. That work also reconstructed a 75-yard stretch of the Kane Creek channel, adding rocks and root wads to mimic the natural
April 5, 2013
That same year, in a speech to the Oregon Legislature, Governor Oswald West proclaimed ocean beaches, from Columbia River to the California state line, public highways. The prudence being beaches would provide the public with miles of highway without the cost of construction to the public. continued on page 17
“The cost to build the project with prefabricated components instead of an extended construction schedule was about the same,” said Randleman. “The design team opted for the faster schedule to reduce traffic impacts.”
Counties were responsible for improving their main highway routes; the department assisted in surveying and engineering construction operations. Construction of the Pacific Highway began in Jackson County.
stream conditions that help steelhead and other fish migrate to the upper reaches of the stream. The project’s multiple benefits garnered support from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife as well as local stakeholders. “The stream restoration project gave fish more opportunities to reach the upper portions of Kane Creek,” said ODOT Environmental Coordinator Jerry Vogt. “Before that project, fish were limited to a few high-water events to move upstream.”
In Josephine County, where crime is rising and law enforcement funding is declining, thieves and vandals stole or destroyed more than $100,000 of maintenance equipment at ODOT facilities in Grants Pass, Hugo and Cave Junction.
At ODOT’s Grants Pass maintenance yard, thieves and vandals have cut the property fences several times. Intruders stole a gas-powered generator, smashed windshields and side windows, and slashed fuel hoses and truck tires.
Josephine County thefts, vandalism target ODOT maintenance yards
At ODOT’s Hugo yard, criminals preyed on a utility truck used by the agency’s electric crew, stealing the battery, electrical tools (many employee-owned) and We’ve probably cutting the truck’s ODOT reported each fuel line. Two trailhad $125,000 incident of theft and ers, one owned by a worth of items vandalism to law contractor working stolen or broken. enforcement officials on the Interstate 5 in Josephine County. truck climbing lane — Grants Pass Maintenance ODOT took additional project, were burglarManager Shawn Stephens steps to secure equipized as well. Thieves also ment and buildings but grabbed a portable mesthe criminal activity has grown sage board and backhoe along over the past twelve months. Since I-5 near Hugo. last summer, ODOT maintenance facilities in Grants Pass, Hugo and Cave “There isn’t a single piece of equipment regardless of its size that hasn’t Junction have all been broken into and been targeted in Josephine County,” vandalized on multiple occasions. said Stephens. “We had a 500-foot “We’ve experienced more than section of guardrail stolen from a $100,000 of items stolen or broken frontage road in Sunny Valley. That since last summer,” said Stephens. cost about $50,000 to replace. “That’s money that we won’t be able “We’ve tried to make it harder for to invest on the highways. We’re forced to redirect funds to replace or thieves. We bent the bolts on the guardrail but the thieves just threw a fix the buildings, tools and vehicles chain around the posts and pulled the our crews rely upon to keep the whole thing out.” roads safe.” “Oregonians should be upset about this situation because their tax dollars fund these facilities,” said ODOT Grants Pass Maintenance Manager Shawn Stephens.
April 5, 2013
FAIRGROUNDS SIGNAL PROJECT
scheduled to wrap up before Boatnik
On any given day, 40,000 vehicles travel along the U.S. 199 from U.S. 101 on the Oregon Coast to Interstate 5, the West Coast’s busiest freight route. Last month, ODOT removed the traffic signal in front of the Josephine County Fairgrounds, a section of the Redwood Highway notorious for a relatively high number of rear end crashes and clogging commuter, summer and holiday traffic during peak driving times. Sandwiched between Redwood Avenue and Ringuette Street in Grants Pass, the traffic signal contributed to an average of 2.5 crashes per month. The traffic signal removal on March 4 capped more than a decade of discussions between ODOT, the City of Grants Pass, Josephine County and local stakeholders. “The Fairgrounds intersection has seen more than its share of rear-end crashes,” said ODOT Project Leader Jayne Randleman. “Traffic was very congested in the Fairgrounds area during busy travel times, partially due to its close proximity to the traffic signals at Ringuette Street and Redwood Avenue.”
April 5, 2013
The on-going project, scheduled for completion before Memorial Day, will keep traffic moving and enhance pedestrian access on the north side of Redwood Highway. Traffic will be able to turn right on either side of Fairgrounds Road and use nearby Ringuette Street or Redwood Avenue for U-turns. Project’s scope includes: • Extending left turn lanes on U.S. 199 at Ringuette Street; • Widening the roadway at the intersection of Redwood Avenue and U.S. 199 to allow U-turns for commercial trucks. • Adding a crosswalk on the west side of Ringuette Street for pedestrians wanting to traverse U.S. 199; • Building a new sidewalk from the Fairgrounds entrance to Ringuette Street on the north side of U.S. 199; • Adding a left turn arrow to the existing center lane on Ringuette Street for northbound travel, effectively making a dual left, from Ringuette Street to westbound U.S. 199; and,
Since the signals were removed, prime contractor Copeland Sand and Gravel of Grants Pass, has worked on sidewalks and new driveways for the businesses on the north side of U.S. 199, including two gas stations and a sports bar. The Fairgrounds Signal project has been in the works for years. Initially, it was planned as a stand-alone safety project, especially when the Ringuette Street signal was installed. However, after a series of fatalities that occurred in the corridor between the South Y intersection and Midway Avenue, the Rogue Valley Area Commission on Transportation folded that project with others to secure funds for a review of the entire corridor, which began a federally-required environmental assessment.
Copeland has the right mix of people on this job.
— ODOT Public Service Representative Dennis Steers
The first two phases of the U.S. 199 Expressway project are now complete, with the last phase wrapping up last year between Rogue Community College and Dowell Road. The third phase, located in the more urban portion between Dowell Road and the South Y intersection, was shelved when the City of Grants Pass and Josephine County withdrew support. ODOT later revisited the original Fairgrounds Signal project and added improvements for pedestrian connectivity on Ringuette Street. Prime contractor Copeland Sand and Gravel won the bid to construct this project, using local labor and materials.
owners personally, which helps make communicating project details that much better.” The Fairgrounds Signal project project was designed for completion by the end of May, just in time for the busy summer tourist season and the 54th Annual Boatnik, a Memorial Day Celebration in Grants Pass that features a parade and boat racing.
“Copeland has the right mix of people on this job,” said ODOT Public Service Representative Dennis Steers. “The crew knows many of the business
Scan here for more about the Grants Pass Active Club’s Boatnik celebration.
April 5, 2013
Oregon 62 repaving near Eagle Point
starts this summer
The 3.6-mile section of Oregon 62 north of Eagle Point between Linn Road and Oregon 234 is one of the roughest sections of state highway in southern Oregon. The good news is this section is scheduled for a repaving project this summer. Not only will this project repave the highway but it will also construct a twoway, left turn lane from Crystal Drive north to Rolling Hills Drive. Major construction will begin after the 4th of July holiday weekend. For now, Eagle Point Irrigation District culverts are being replaced in the project area. Under a $100,000 Emerging Small Business contract, Rawhide Excavating of Madras will replace two undersized concrete culverts beneath Oregon 62. The company will work at night to replace the existing culverts with longer substitutes. Motorists are asked to drive with caution during the night work and watch for flaggers providing traffic control under single-lane conditions. “The ESB contract is important because it breaks out some of the critical work, completes it ahead of the main contract, and provides an opportunity for an emerging business that it might not otherwise get,” said ODOT Civil Rights Field Coordinator Christie Meacham. ODOT briefed the Eagle Point City Council on the project, receiving an exception to the city’s noise ordinance. Much of the construction work will be
April 5, 2013
conducted at night, from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., to reduce the impact on summer traffic and speed up the construction schedule. “There will be some noise and out of direction travel for residents who use Barton Road and live in the adjacent neighborhoods,” said ODOT Project Leader Jayne Randleman. “The benefit to this schedule is that it takes a two-year repaving project and reduces it down to just one construction season.” In addition to replacing the existing pavement, the highway section between Rolling Hills Drive and Crystal Drive will be widened to accommodate a continuous two-way, left-turn lane. This improvement will increase safety and provide a turning refuge for drivers. The project will also: • Construct a turn pocket for left turning traffic on to Barton Road. There will still be no lefts out of Barton Road onto Oregon 62; • Close the Barton Road access temporarily during the project to expedite construction. Local access to Oregon 62 will be via Sienna Hills to Crystal Drive; and • Accommodate limited relocation of mailboxes, which are along the highway section scheduled for widening. The repaving project is slated for completion by October 31.
OREGON 62 PROJECT TEAM WORKS TO COMPLETE FEDERAL DOCUMENT
ODOT is focused on completing a federally-required Final Environmental Impact Statement that is necessary before construction can begin on the first two phases of the Oregon 62: I-5 to Dutton Road project. The $120 million project is a multimodal transportation solution designed to reduce congestion, increase capacity and improve safety along Crater Lake Highway. “The corridor is a critical business connection, locally and regionally, for freight, tourism and commuters,” said ODOT Project Leader Dick Leever. “The Crater Lake Highway currently exceeds capacity standards. “Future growth is expected to significantly increase traffic volumes.” The project’s first phases are slated for construction in 2015. The 4.5-mile expressway would start at a small directional interchange near Whittle Road, follow the east side of the Medford Airport, pass over Vilas Road, and connect back to the Crater Lake Highway near Corey Road. One of the biggest features of the Oregon 62: I-5 to Dutton Road project will be the construction of a fourlane, access-controlled expressway. The expressway would provide faster travel and improved safety within and throughout the region. The addition of sidewalks and transit-
related enhancements are planned on the existing Oregon 62 corridor. The Citizen’s Advisory Committee and Project Development Team shepherded the Oregon 62: I-5 to Dutton Road project since its inception in 2004. ODOT, the Federal Highway Administration, stakeholders, regulatory agencies, and the public worked together to develop the build alternatives. The PDT included representatives from ODOT, the City of Medford, Jackson County, the Rogue Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization, the Jackson County/Medford Chamber of Commerce, the freight and trucking industry, FHWA, the CAC, and two citizens-at-large. The team is responsible for management decisions, technical quality and assisting in the successful development of the project. The CAC comprised representatives of neighborhoods, businesses, and community interests. These members represent disciplines such as bicyclists, pedestrians, transit, agriculture, environmental issues and other interests. ODOT also conducted other outreach efforts as part of the process, including public workshops. The CAC and PDT reviewed public comments submitted during a 45-day public comment period and project open house in 2012. Following the
April 5, 2013
review, team members confirmed the earlier design alternatives. According to Leever, one of the main concerns heard was how the full project, estimated to cost $400 million, would impact individual properties. “The response from the public was very good at the project’s open house and public hearing last year,” said Leever. “Many people learned what the project is designed to solve and asked specific questions about how construction would affect their property.” FHWA will make the final decision on the build alternatives through the National Environmental Policy Act process, which helps decision-makers evaluate project alternatives. NEPA, enacted in 1970, requires disclosure of the environmental impacts of federallyfunded projects and opportunity for public comment.
April 5, 2013
As the proposed project is considered, it is important that both the public and public agencies have access to the same information and understand how the proposed project could affect them and the environment. Public input on the EIS helps FHWA and ODOT evaluate the impacts of the proposed project, identify proposed conservation and mitigation measures, and choose the best overall alternative. “Giving citizens, stakeholders, and public agencies the opportunity to review and comment on the proposed project is a vital part of the NEPA process,” said Leever.
Scan here for the project page
I-5: GLENDALE TO HUGO PAVING
& SEXTON CLIMBING LANE Road construction started earlier this year to build a northbound truck climbing lane on Interstate 5 over Sexton Pass. The project will repave 17 miles of I-5 from Hugo north to Glendale, build the climbing lane and improve the safety of the curves in the southbound lanes located south of Smith Hill.
On each climb, trucks slow down in the outside lane, which results in congestion and increases the possibility of crashes. — ODOT Project Leader Mark Leedom
The I-5: Glendale to Hugo Paving & Sexton Climbing Lane project is designed to replace old and damaged guardrail and median barrier as well as add new signage in the project area. The 2009 Oregon Jobs and Transportation Act is funding part of the project. Climbing lane construction required the closure of the emergency shoulder. Prime contractor Knife River Corporation of Central Point placed concrete barrier in the work zone so crews and equipment can begin the widening process. “The long haul up from Hugo may seem a little longer this summer,” said ODOT Spokesman Dan Latham. “Until we get to the paving stage later this summer, traffic will be separated from the heavy equipment that is needed to excavate the slope for a new travel lane and shoulder.” Latham said that means northbound I-5 traffic, depending on the time of day and season, may encounter delays and congestion as slow moving
April 5, 2013
“ 30 mph during the climb and the difference in speed relative to other traffic can be hazardous.
Drivers need to keep an eye on the flow of traffic and watch out for slow moving vehicles and quick lane changes. — ODOT Spokesman Dan Latham
“The Federal Highway Administration recognized that some of the worst steep grade truck bottlenecks in the nation are on I-5 in southern Oregon.” When one commercial truck attempts to pass another slowmoving vehicle, both I-5 lanes are blocked, forcing traffic to brake hard or suddenly change lanes to avoid a collision. Some trucks drove along the shoulder but this left no room for disabled vehicles. The climbing lane is expected to reduce the frequency of I-5 closures related to commercial trucks, especially during winter driving conditions. The new climbing lanes are being built to today’s engineering standards, thereby reducing the need for on-going shoulder maintenance. More truck climbing lanes ODOT recently constructed three short climbing lanes, each roughly one-mile long, on I-5 in Douglas County. The truck climbing lanes are located southbound at Rice Hill (milepost 147) and one in each direction on ‘Gumby Hill’ (milepost 137) the steep grade located between Sutherlin and Oakland.
south of Salem) and on Interstate 84 (a 7-mile lane east of Pendleton). Other potential truck climbing lanes have been identified in southern Oregon, although no other projects are currently funded. ODOT will continue to build on its past success of incorporating truck climbing construction into I-5 repaving projects. “The benefits of truck climbing lanes extend beyond Oregon to the neighboring states of Washington and California,” Leedom said.
Climbing lanes can also be found further north on I-5 (a 3-mile lane
April 5, 2013
Scan here to receive project updates.
McCullough’s Bridges continued from page 6
Today, ODOT is one of the largest state agencies in Oregon with about 4,500 full-time employees and a biennial budget of $3.8 billion. The agency manages highways and bridges, provides driver and motor vehicle services, regulates the trucking and rail industries, supports public transit services, and promotes safety in all aspects of every portfolio. ODOT celebrates 100 years To highlight its 100th anniversary, ODOT released a video on YouTube that features Oregon’s master bridge builder, Conde B. McCullough. The video was produced and shot by ODOT Spokesman Peter Murphy and Videographer John Kazmierski produced and shot the video, which features some of the West’s most beautiful and functional bridges
Scan this to learn more about the 100th Anniversary.
Scan this to watch the McCullough bridge video.
“There have been a lot of words written about him and his contributions to the Oregon Department of Transportation, so I’m pleased to be able to bring his vision to life in this video.” McCullough’s legacy Conde B. McCullough [1887-1946] arrived in Oregon in 1916 to teach engineering at Oregon Agricultural College (now Oregon State University). He was among a new breed of collegeeducated engineers, and a pioneer of the movement to create a well-planned American highway system. Beginning in the early 1900s, McCullough argued that bridges should be built efficiently, economically, and aesthetically. He became Oregon’s state bridge engineer in 1919 and initiated creation of hundreds of custom designed spans characterized by architectural elegance. His legacy of beautiful bridges lives today and most of his bridges are considered significant landmarks.
Filmed over two weeks, the video combines scenes of the bridges today with historic video and photographs and tells the story of McCullough and his vision for the bridges he and his team designed. “Conde McCullough was in the right place at the right time to build these magnificent structures,” Murphy said.
The culmination of McCullough’s career in Oregon was the design of five existing major bridges along the Oregon Coast Highway — the Yaquina Bay Bridge at Newport, the Isaac Patterson Bridge at Gold Beach, the Siuslaw River Bridge at Florence, the Umpqua River Bridge at Reedsport, and the Conde McCullough (formerly Coos Bay) Bridge at Marshfield/ continued on page 18
April 5, 2013
ESB OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE Specialized property appraisers in high demand
Some of Oregon’s small businesses may be missing out on exclusive bidding opportunities for certified ESB firms around the state even though the application process is free and fairly simple to complete. ODOT’s Emerging Small Business program is geared to assist small businesses in bidding on state and federal contracts level under $100,000. “This program provides businesses the tools and resources needed to branch out and grow,” said ODOT ESB Field Coordinator Christie Meacham. “We help businesses get their foot in the door, so they can bid on projects advertised statewide.”
for a 3.6-mile repaving project scheduled to begin this summer. (Page 10 for more details.) According to Meacham, specialized property appraisers are in high demand right now. “State agencies need people with those specialized skills,” said Meacham. “For example, ODOT needs specialized property appraisers for upcoming road projects in Roseburg and Shady Cove. “Having ESB certification can give contractors more opportunities to bid on public projects.” Scan here for more information about the ESB program.
Rawhide Excavating of Madras is currently working on an ESB near Eagle Point. The contractor is placing drainage pipes across Oregon 62 in preparation McCullough’s Bridges continued from page 17
Scan here for more historical photos
First highway bond for $1,000 issued in Oregon, Jackson County, 1913. (L to R) E.E. Kelly, District Attorney; F.L. Touvelle, Jackson County Judge; W.C. Leever, County Commissioner
North Bend. These five bridges and seven others are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. McCullough
April 5, 2013
had also designed the Alsea Bay Bridge at Waldport, but his original bridge has been replaced by a modern span.
Construction start for Fern Valley Interchange pushed to 2014
untouched west of the interchange while constructing the new interchange just north of the existing bridge, and realigning North Phoenix Road between Peterbilt Motors Co. and Home Depot.
The Fern Valley Interchange project in Phoenix will reinforce the adage that timing is everything as the project team pushed the bid date back six months to the end of October with construction slated to begin in 2014. According to ODOT Project Leader Dick Leever, the new schedule results from delays in acquiring the necessary right of way to construct a crossing diamond design interchange at Interstate 5 exit 24. “Our property appraisers have been very busy working on other statewide projects funded by the Oregon Jobs and Transportation Act,” said Leever. “All that work has slowed up our process a bit. “Looking on the bright side, construction bids are typically more competitive later in the year. Contractors coming off their summer construction season crunch numbers as they look forward to the next one. I expect the project will see better prices with an October bid date.” Started in 2004, the project’s latest design leaves most roadways relatively
In the meantime, Phoenix residents will see utility relocations continue through this spring and summer. “Utility relocates are critical to the overall project,” said Leever. “Clearing right of way files opens the door to start moving utilities. Power, phone and cable will be on poles, followed by ground work for sewer and water.” During construction, the prime contractor will upgrade Phoenix’s water line as it keeps traffic moving. A line of pear trees along the Grove Road alignment will also be removed. “Our goal is keep construction impacts to a minimum,” said Leever. “It will be quite a trick in such a tightly-developed commercial and residential interchange area. Our plans are to quickly and efficiently build the new interchange in stages that keeps I-5 and the local roadways open.”
April 5, 2013
Project staging The project team collaborated with a group of private contractors last year to come up with the best construction methods. According to Leever, significant grade differences (the new roadway is designed to rise nearly eight feet above the current level at the top of the southbound I-5 off-ramp) and the close proximity of the new bridge ramps to the existing ramps are just a few of the major challenges the project faces. The result of that collaborative meeting was a staged approach that sets aside a large area for unimpeded construction and builds temporary roadways and ramps, which opens up the entire project area for heavy construction.
Lu ma nR
“We’re proposing the project contractor builds temporary southbound on- and off-ramps in the southwest quadrant of the interchange area, funneling traffic into Phoenix via Luman Road,” Leever said. “However, staging proposals may be refined again when a contractor comes on board.” Project funding The $72 million project was fully funded thanks to a $25 million investment from the 2009 Oregon Jobs and Transportation Act, a funding package based in part on increases in truck weight-mile flat fees, registration fees, road use assessment fees, and heavy vehicle trip permit fees.
April 5, 2013
“The JTA investment was great news,” said ODOT Area Manager Art Anderson. “This major transportation investment reflects the excellent work being accomplished in the Rogue Valley.” Unlike former Oregon transportation bills, the JTA dedicated most of the state’s share of revenue to specific projects. The bill listed 37 projects previously approved by the Oregon Transportation Commission that must be financed by bonds.
“The Fern Valley Interchange will be a challenging project,” Leaming said. “This project involves building new roads, new ramps and new bridges. We’re also widening Highway 99. Normal routes will change during the project and there will be some short closures and delays. “We’ll do our best to minimize the construction impacts.” Bridge aesthetics Bridge aesthetics
“As the project nears kick off, businesses and residents will see more of us,” said ODOT Spokesman Gary Leaming. “The big change will come once the project bids. The contractor may present an alternative construction plan to speed up the construction work. “Once we have a prime contractor on board and our construction plans are solid we’ll host another open house for the Phoenix community to share the details.” Keeping the businesses and commuters in the Phoenix community informed during the two-year construction schedule will be the key to reducing delays and traffic impacts.
Aesthetic features inspired by the hills and grasses — the natural colors surrounding Phoenix — are being incorporated in the final design for the new Fern Valley Interchange project. The utilization of concrete form liners and different stains and paints presents opportunities to design a bridge with a local look instead of the drab concrete structures common when I-5 was initially built. The project team filtered through several designs with the help of Medford landscape architect, John Galbraith, before selecting aesthetics for the Fern Valley Road bridges that span I-5 and Bear Creek at exit 24.
April 5, 2013
The Fern Valley interchange connects I-5 and Phoenix at exit 24. The interchange experiences traffic congestion through the day, but is especially severe during the morning and evening commutes. Existing and proposed development along the east side of I-5, as well as development growth within the Rogue Valley, are choking the interchangeâ€™s capacity and causing safety concerns.
ODOT will construct the Fern Valley Interchange project using a crossing diamond design that provides a higher capacity to move traffic while reducing right of way needs.
The process The projectâ€™s design phase began in 2004. The Fern Valley Through design alternative was eliminated in 2009 because it would have an adverse impact on nearby farm land. Later, the Project Development Team unanimously supported the North Phoenix Through build alternative as part of the federally required environmental assessment.
April 5, 2013
Vehicles crossing the interchange move to the opposite side of the road to either enter I-5 or to cross it, reducing the number of signal cycles for traffic to clear. The Missouri Department of Transportation was the first agency in the United States to construct an interchange of this design. The project design keeps roadways relatively untouched west of the interchange while constructing a new interchange just north of the existing one, and realigning North Phoenix Road between Home Depot and the Peterbilt shop.
Eagle Point studies transit service With a population of 8,469 people and projections to continue robust growth, the City of Eagle Point is studying how public transit service fits in the community’s future. The Rogue Valley Transportation District in partnership with the city of Eagle Point will complete the transit study this spring. Nearly forty Eagle Point residents, elected officials and business representatives have been directly involved in the study.
Funded by ODOT and the city of Eagle Point, the study details city demographics, prepared route concepts, bus stop locations and proposed funding strategies for the city and RVTD to consider. A final report is currently under review for presentation to the Eagle Point City Council and the RVTD Board of Directors. The City of Eagle Point will weigh the benefits of each option and decide what is best for the community. “Because Eagle Point is not in RVTD’s service area, the city has the option to contract the service to a third party,” said RVTD Senior Planner Paige Townsend. “After our agency completed a district boundary assessment in 2011, we discovered that incorporating Eagle Point into our service district would be a feasible alternative.” The transit study has uncovered valuable demographics. Seniors and youth, which make up nearly 27 percent of Eagle Point’s population, typically use transit more than the general population. More than 12 percent of Eagle Point citizens are considered low-income.
Scan here for the transit study.
Ridership estimates project Eagle Point could generate 40,000 transit trips per year, which rivals what RVTD sees on Route 24 to East Medford. Having a route to Eagle Point would improve transportation options for the community and may alleviate commuter congestion on Oregon 62 in coming years.
The study also discovered that 46 percent of residents commute to Medford for work. Conversely, more than 75 percent of the workers in Eagle Point commute from outside of the city. According to Townsend, this data suggests the Eagle Point community would be able to support a transit route if one were available.
April 5, 2013
THE ECONOMIC CASE FOR By Art James
In the summer of 2008, the price of regular gasoline exceeded $4 per gallon in Oregon for the first time in history. I work in ODOTâ€™s Office of Innovative Partnerships where we have a unique statutory authority to enter into public/ private partnerships for transportation projects. The phone rang and it was a fleet operator in the Portland area who said the fuel prices were going to put him out of business. He was thinking about converting to electric drive vehicles, but was concerned about their range and not having places around the community to charge them. He had heard about the Innovative Partnerships program and wondered if we could use that authority to install charging stations around Oregon. This started a process where ODOT began to take an active role in facilitating deployment of electric vehicle charging stations. The first-ever statewide request for proposal for EV-charging equipment was issued in 2009 and a subsequent RFP for fast chargers went out in 2010. We obtained an American Recovery & Reinvestment Act ARRA grant of nearly $1 million in 2010 to install fast chargers along Interstate 5 in southern Oregon and an additional $3.4 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation in 2011 to put chargers along the coast, out in the Columbia River Gorge and over the Cascades. A remarkable transformation has taken place since these early efforts. Oregon
April 5, 2013
has over 800 charging stations in operation and more are being installed daily. More than 2,000 plug-in EVs are driving on Oregon roads and the rate of adoption is outpacing hybrids when they were first introduced over a decade ago. EV Charging facilities are popping up at malls, grocery stores, restaurants, theaters and even at ODOT office buildings! For some people, the argument for EVs is all about reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Nissan made a classic TV ad for the LEAF that featured a polar bear who leaves a melting iceberg to go to the city and give the owner of a Nissan LEAF a hug. While I get this, what has kept me working on this for the last five years is the economic impact the transition from imported fossil fuels to domestically produced electricity will have on this state. Oregonians spend more than $8 billion every year on gasoline and diesel. Since there is no production or refinement in this state, all of that money leaves the state, some of it even going to countries that donâ€™t like us very much. If we can convert a significant portion of our transportation fuel from petroleum to electricity, that will all be money that will stay in Oregon to grow the economy and create jobs. That argument to me is like mom, apple pie and the flag. And for consumers, consider that if you drive a car that gets 20 miles per gallon and gas costs $4 per gallon, you are
paying 20 cents for every mile driven in fuel cost alone. In an EV, that same mile is going to cost you 1-2 cents per mile. That’s nearly a 20-to-1 cost reduction per mile just for fuel. EVs also have almost no maintenance costs so the total cost of ownership can be far below what an internal combustion engine vehicle costs.
My wife took the plunge in May 2012 and has over 4,000 miles on her EV – and hasn’t been to a gas station since. At the same time our monthly electric bill has only gone up about $8 per month compared to the $65-$75 per month she was paying to fuel her last car. The transition has been a nobrainer for us.
About Art James Art James joined ODOT’s Office of Innovative Partnerships in 2004 as project director. He has been instrumental in launching Oregon’s public/private initiative and key in helping establish Oregon as a leading launch site for electric vehicles. He works with private sector firms to create a robust network of EV charging infrastructure in Oregon and encourage rapid adoption of electric transportation. He also chairs the West Coast Electric Highway Steering Committee, working with utilities and local governments to install of EV charging stations around the state. Art holds a Bachelors degree from Stanford University and a Master of Business Administration in finance from the University of Oregon.
Innovative Partnerships and Alternative Funding Road Usage Charge Pilot Program — Oregon leads the nation in researching ways to ensure motorists driving fuel efficient vehicles support the roads they travel. The Road User Fee Task Force, passed by the 2001 Oregon Legislative Assembly, was created to “develop a revenue collection design funded through user pay methods, acceptable and visible to the public, that ensures a flow of revenue sufficient to annually maintain, preserve and improve Oregon’s state, county and city highway and road system.” In the past decade, the task force researched and investigated more than two dozen options, and after deciding a road user fee had the most promise, spearheaded a successful pilot in the Portland area that concluded in 2007. In late 2012, the Oregon Department of Transportation, as directed by the Oregon Legislature, began a second road user fee pilot.
April 5, 2013
Electric Vehicle Charging Network — ODOT supports several projects around the state focused on EVs and EV infrastructure, including the following:
Road User Fee Task Force — The Oregon Legislature created the Road User Fee Task Force to investigate options the state might have for creating a sustainable way to generate funds to support the transportation system. After in-depth research and exploration of options, the group spearheaded two pilot projects and continues regular meetings to keep Oregon leading the way on an issue of concern to other states, the federal government and other countries as well.
• The EV Project run by ECOtality aimed at supporting widespread adoption of the technology; • EV fast charge stations along Interstate 5, the West Coast’s busiest north-south route, part of the West Coast Green Highway infrastructure building efforts; • Tiger II Grant for EV infrastructure along key corridors such as Oregon’s coast, the Columbia Gorge and the Cascades. These and future projects are helping Oregon create a sustainable transportation system by reducing the state’s reliance on imported petroleum and by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The focus now is on how to generate revenue the state is not getting due to the increasing popularity of highly fuel efficient and electric vehicles. While these vehicles contribute positively to our environment and to reducing our dependence on fossil fuels, they still use roads without contributing, or contributing very little, to the costs of maintenance and operation. Solar Highway — The Oregon Solar Highway Program and its projects seek to further the usage and understanding of solar energy’s role in greening the nation’s grid, adding value to the existing public right of way, and supplying clean, renewable, home-grown energy to Oregonians. The program is also interested in helping other states develop and implement their own solar highway programs, further supporting solar energy across the nation.
April 5, 2013
Scan here to receive e-mail updates. ODOT supports several projects around the state focused on EVs and EV infrastructure.
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