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Oregon

TIGER GRANT

Rebuilds Siskiyou Line

A Mail Tribune Advertising Department publication

Department of Transportation September

28 2012


Fa

ll E

ON OUR COVER The federal government awarded a $7 million TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) grant to repair and reopen the Siskiyou Rail Line. INSIDE COVER The new exit 14 bridge features artistic treatments that reflect downtown Ashland’s historic architecture and natural environment.

EDITORIAL DIRECTORS Jared Castle, (541) 957-3656 jared.b.castle@odot.state.or.us Gary Leaming, (541) 774-6388 gary.w.leaming@odot.state.or.us ADVERTISING For information on advertising in this publication please contact Advertising Director Dena DeRose at (541) 776-4439 or dderose@mailtribune.com

April 23, 2011

dit

ion

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Oregon Passenger Rail Improved service studied as travel demands increase

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Oregon 62: I-5 to Dutton Road Public comment period open for strategic highway solution

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New Phoenix Interchange Local team collaborates on Art Deco theme, natural colors

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Kane Creek stream restoration Restored habitat aids steelhead, salamanders, and muddlers

CONTRIBUTORS Bret Jackson Graphic Design Steve Johnson Photography Sally Ridenour, Shelley Snow Editing Mike Bowman, Jared Castle, Gary Leaming, Jyll Smith Writing

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.

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WRAP TO STRENGTHEN

Evans Creek Bridge

Unnoticed by many Interstate 5 motorists passing over the Evans Creek Bridge, located north of Rogue River exit 48, is a strengthening project that provides the equivalent of an exoskeleton to the half-century old structure. Evans Creek Bridge is undergoing a $1.2 million repair to extend its lifespan. One of 35 bridges from Medford to Grants Pass on I-5, the 51-year old bridge was scheduled for repairs to avoid load-carrying restrictions. According to ODOT Bridge Maintenance Manager Bryan Mast, the project is a necessity. “Evans

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Creek Bridge has taken a real pounding over the past fifty years,” said Mast. The repairs involve injecting the cracks with epoxy before wrapping a fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) composite around the concrete girders. ODOT has used this repair method on numerous bridges over the past 15 years. “The FRP wrap adds strength to the beams to help them resist traffic loads,” said Mast. “This repair is designed to provide the bridge with at least another 25 years of use. This approach is the most economical solution for the problem.”

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Evans Creek Bridge has “taken a real pounding over the past fifty years. ” ODOT Bridge Maintenance Manager Bryan Mast

FRP is defined as an engineering material that consists of thermosetting resin and fiber reinforcement. Installation of FRP is temperature and humidity sensitive. Preparations are tedious before the wrap can be applied. The surface of each concrete girder must be cleaned and sanded smooth. The sharp corners on each girder need to be rounded off to allow for the best adhesion. “A large portion of the repair work also involves constructing work platforms and containment systems,” Mast said, “as all of the repair work occurs under the structure.” Work platforms were installed underneath the bridge. During this period, traffic was reduced to a single lane at night with I-5 ramp closures at Rogue River. With the platforms in place, the crew can work during the day. However, once the repair work is completed, the same night-time traffic impacts are needed as the contractor tears down the work platforms.

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OREGON STUDYING IMPROVEMENTS TO PASSENGER RAIL SERVICE A study is underway to look for ways to improve passenger rail service that serves urban communities from Portland to Eugene-Springfield. A series of six traditional and online open houses recently wrapped up in the study area, a 125-mile segment that is part of the Pacific Northwest Rail Corridor stretching between Eugene and Vancouver, B.C. ODOT is studying how improved passenger rail service can address

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increased travel demands, especially as funding for highway projects is in decline. Current Amtrak Cascades service between Eugene and Portland includes two round trips per day, a two hour and 35 minute trip each way. Annual Amtrak Cascades ridership has grown significantly over the past five years. Over the next 25 years, the population of the Willamette Valley is expected to grow by approximately 25 percent and

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freight volume in the state is expected to grow by 60 percent. This will result in travel demands that exceed existing freight and passenger rail capacity. The study will be used to help decide on a general passenger rail route and evaluate options for train frequency, trip time and improving on-time performance. “In order to position Oregon for federal funding to improve passenger rail, the state must complete a study, called a Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement,” said Jyll Smith, project spokesperson. “We are currently scoping, which identifies issues to be addressed. This is an early step in the process but an important opportunity for public input.” The Oregon Passenger Rail study is divided into three general phases: Understand, Evaluate, and Recommend. Currently, the study is in the Understand phase, known as ‘Scoping’ under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Its purpose is to identify issues and ensure an appropriate range of alternatives will be considered through the study. ODOT wants to know what is important to you. There are many ways to learn about the project and provide your comments:

Visit www.OregonPassengerRail.org Submit a comment online (through October 31) Email info@oregonpassengerrail.org

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REOPENING SISKIYOU RAIL Almost five years since the last freight train trudged from Weed, Calif. to Ashland, a triumphant collaboration of private and public stakeholders hear the train a comin’ again. The proverbial light at the end of tunnel — a $9.49 million rehabilitation project with a 2013 construction start date — is expected to reopen the Siskiyou Rail Line within the next two years. The Siskiyou Summit Railroad Revitalization project will repair and revitalize a section of the 296-mile stretch of the short line railroad, including rail, tunnels, ties and bridges as well as upgrading its freight capacity to handle the 286,000-pound industry standard for rail cars. Last June, the $7 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant awarded to the Oregon Department of Transportation and California’s Siskiyou County for the Siskiyou Summit Railroad Revitalization project was met with a celebratory roar throughout the region. U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley announced the TIGER grant award together, emphasizing how reopening the Siskiyou Rail Line will boost the regional economy. “Reopening of the Siskiyou Summit line will have an immediate and important positive economic impact for Southern Oregon,” Wyden said in a prepared statement when the TIGER grant was awarded. “It will save

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shippers hundreds of thousands dollars in transportation costs, get goods to market more efficiently, take heavy trucks off the interstate and reduce road damage.” Central Oregon and Pacific Railroad (CORP), which owns the line, will backfill the remainder of the project cost along with the help of private shipping companies. Meanwhile, ODOT and CORP are working together with the Federal Rail Administration to complete the federal processes, agreements and guidelines necessary before construction can begin. “The TIGER grant was critical to moving this endeavor forward” said ODOT Area Manager Art Anderson. “These federal grants are extremely competitive. Our application wouldn’t have been successful without the combined private and public support from both states.” “The Siskiyou Summit Railroad Revitalization project will improve our regional economy by re-establishing a more economically-competitive method of shipping goods.” The contract is on schedule to be let by the end of April 2013, well ahead of the Sept. 30, 2013 statutory deadline for obligating funds. “Unlike traditional highway projects, freight rail improvements to existing rail infrastructure can be completed relatively quickly,” Anderson said.

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Mike Montero, co-chairman of the Rogue Valley Area Commission on Transportation, concurred with Anderson, noting the environmentallyfriendly aspects of restoring the Siskiyou Rail Line. “The potential for reduced emissions and reduced traffic on I-5 is a benefit in the Rogue Valley,” Montero said. “However, companies around Oregon will also gain from adding a muchneeded shipping option. Bulk freight and heavier materials like lumber can be shipped more economically on rail.” A second, smaller project funded through the ConnectOregon IV program will improve the clearances

of tunnels and other rail infrastructure between Douglas and Jackson counties. The $5.7 million project, which received a $4.5 million ConnectOregon IV grant, will open access to the Rogue Valley with modern, high-capacity rail car equipment. That railroad work could begin as early as September or October, said Bob Ragon, spokesman for CoosSiskiyou Shippers Coalition, said work on the smaller project could begin later this year. The Coalition was at the forefront of bringing together industry, CORP, and local, state, and federal government representatives to pursue the TIGER grant program.

continued on page 11

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Oregon 62

public comment period underway

Open house, public hearing set for Oct. 17 A 45-day public comment period for the Oregon 62: I-5 to Dutton Road project’s federally-required DEIS (Draft Environmental Impact Statement) began earlier this month. The DEIS examines the impacts of the proposed multimodal solution. This $120 million project, formerly known as the Oregon 62 Corridor project, extends 7.9 miles from Interstate 5 exit 30 to Dutton Road. The project purpose is increasing capacity and safety on this strategic highway that connects I-5 with Oregon Highways 140 and 62. “Nearly eight years of work have gone into this project,” said ODOT Project Leader Dick Leever. “The DEIS summarizes the complete build out of how this project, estimated to cost $400 million, could affect the human and natural environment in this corridor. The public is invited to a DEIS open house and public hearing on Wednesday, Oct. 17 at the Jackson County Parks auditorium, 7520 Table Rock Road, in White City. The open house begins at 5 p.m. while the public hearing begins at 6:30 p.m. “The Oregon 62 corridor is a critical business connection locally and regionally for freight, tourism and commuters,” said Leever. “The highway currently exceeds capacity standards. Future growth is expected to significantly increase traffic volumes.” The project’s first phase is slated for construction in 2014. The 2009 Oregon Jobs and Transportation Act invested $100 million into the next phase of the project, which builds a four-lane expressway, along

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with sidewalks and transit-related enhancements on the existing highway. The proposed 4.5-mile expressway would start at a small directional interchange from Crater Lake Highway near Whittle Road, follow the east side of the Medford Airport, pass over Vilas Road, and terminate at a traffic signal on the existing corridor near Corey Road. The DEIS is available for viewing online at http://cms.oregon.gov/ odot/hwy/region3. The DEIS and its executive summaries are available for free at the ODOT office located at 100 Antelope Road in White City. Printed versions of the full DEIS are available for $125, however copies can be viewed for free at the following locations: • ODOT regional office in White City, 100 Antelope Road; • Jackson County (Medford) Library, 205 South Central Ave.; • City of Medford Planning office, 200 South Ivey Street; • Rogue Family Center, 3131 Avenue C, White City; • Oregon State Library, 250 Winter Street, N.E., Salem; and • ODOT Geo-Environmental Section, 4040 Fairview Industrial Drive, S.E., MS #6, Salem.

Open House and Public Hearing ODOT attempts to hold all public meetings in accessible buildings. Accommodations will be provided to persons with disabilities. Alternate formats are available upon request. If a sign language interpreter is needed, please call Christie Meacham at 541957-3698 at least 48 hours prior to the meeting.

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continued from page 9 “The ConnectOregon project will allow taller, high-capacity boxcars to be used on the Siskiyou Line,” said Ragon. “These rail line improvements help give local companies a competitive edge, protecting jobs and enhancing industrial growth in Northern California and Southern Oregon.” TIGER Background The Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery, or TIGER Discretionary Grant program, invests in road, rail, transit and port projects that promise to achieve critical national objectives. Congress dedicated $1.5 billion for TIGER I, $600 million for TIGER II, and $526.944 million for the FY 2011 round of TIGER Grants to fund projects that have a significant impact on the nation, a region or a metropolitan area. Each project is multimodal, multijurisdictional or otherwise challenging to fund through existing programs. Applications were evaluated through a competitive process by technical and professional experts at the DOT, and project benefits were analyzed to ensure that limited funds were spent most effectively. The TIGER programs use rigorous, multimodal selection

criteria and the results of economic analysis to select projects and track the effectiveness of TIGER investments through focused project-specific performance measurement plans. The TIGER program enables the DOT to use a rigorous process to select projects with exceptional benefits, explore ways to deliver projects faster and save on construction costs, and make investments in our Nation’s infrastructure that make communities more livable and sustainable. ConnectOregon IV The 2011 Oregon Legislature authorized $40 million for ConnectOregon IV. After initially receiving 70 applications, 38 projects were chosen, totaling $40,038,333 in ConnectOregon IV funding. In total, these 38 projects will leverage approximately, $95 million in other funds. ConnectOregon is a lottery-bond-based initiative first approved by the 2005 Oregon Legislature to invest in air, rail, marine/ports and transit infrastructure. More than 100 multimodal projects have been approved for funding through the ConnectOregon program.

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New RVTD services push ridership records An enthusiastic public response to evening and Saturday service is the result of a new grant secured by the Rogue Valley Transportation District. Ridership jumped 17 percent from March to April 2012. In fact, April fixedroute ridership rose to 120,528, a new record that bests the October 2008 ‘gas crisis’ mark by 8 percent. According to RVTD Senior Planner Paige Townsend, Saturday service has been very popular, delivering more rides per hour than on any other day of the week. “This is something our riders told us they wanted most, so we adopted it in our 10-year plan,” said Townsend. “Typically, transit agencies can expect it to take 3-6 months before a new service is fully embraced by the public. Our new service has been very busy from day one.” The evening hours and Saturday service are grant funded for three years, through 2015. RVTD is working to secure additional funding to make the service financially feasible beyond that three-year window. “We wanted to provide more opportunities for people to get around without having to use their cars,” said Townsend. “Transit only works for people if it gets them both to and from their destination. Our recent expansion covers more trips, providing a transit option for evening

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shifts, classes and errands, along with all kinds of Saturday trips.” Most routes have an 8:30 p.m. last departure time which enables riders much more flexibility in scheduling their activities, class times and return times. RVTD encourages alternatives to driving alone. Its Sept. 21-27 ‘Drive Less Challenge’ offered activities and events involving alternative transportation. The Challenge also encouraged commuters to use the DriveLessConnect.com website, a ride-matching database with a Southern Oregon division, to log their trips and arrange a carpool. “We really wanted to encourage active and shared transportation to give people the opportunity to feel what it’s like to get around without their car even if it was only for one day,” said RVTD Travel Trainer Mike Bowman. “I commute by bus two days a week, when I can. And I love the mile walk to and from the bus stop. It makes me feel good.” The Drive Less Challenge is held annually but the benefits of using alternative transportation never go away. Now, with RVTD’s evening hours and Saturday service, Rogue Valley residents have more choices than ever before — and they’re taking advantage of them.

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FERN VALLEY TEAM AIMS TO REDUCE CONSTRUCTION IMPACTS IN PHOENIX With less than a year before construction begins, the Fern Valley Interchange project team is sifting through techniques to expedite work while keeping businesses open and traffic on the move. “It will be quite a trick in such a tightlydeveloped commercial and residential interchange area,” said ODOT Project Leader Dick Leever. “Our goal is to keep impacts to a minimum. We will quickly and efficiently build the project in stages that keep Interstate 5 and the local roadways open.” The project team collaborated with a group of private contractors earlier this 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 with contractors was a staged approach that sets aside a large area for unimpeded construction and builds temporary roadways and ramps that open up the project area for heavy construction. “We’re proposing the project contractor builds temporary southbound on- and off-ramps in the

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The process The project’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. The solution 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.

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 east of the interchange while constructing a new interchange just north of the existing one, and realigning North Phoenix Road between Home Depot and the Peterbuilt shop.

More details about the Fern Valley Interchange project and the aesthetic improvements are only a smartphone scan away.

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ASHLAND, THANK YOU By Art Anderson, Area Manager of the Rogue Valley Autumn is typically the end of the transportation construction season in Oregon. In Ashland, it signals an end to more than two years of bridge replacement and rehabilitation at the Interstate 5 exit 14 and 19 interchanges. These two projects made needed improvements to both interchanges. These projects were the first major work on the bridges since the interstate was originally built. Each improvement will last for generations, providing local drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists a safer transportation experience in Ashland. I want to extend a special thank you to the Aesthetics Advisory Committee, a nine-member group comprised of Ashland stakeholders

who ensured these bridges reflect the local style that makes this community unique. The exit 14 bridge brings out artistic treatments that echo the historic architecture, the Art Deco theme and the natural environment highly prized in downtown Ashland. The Ashland I-5 interchanges now stand as an impressive gateway for northbound visitors to our state. These projects also have seen their share of challenges. The poor condition of the bridge deck at exit 14 turned what started out as a simple rehabilitation into a deck replacement project. We negotiated with prime contractor Concrete Enterprises of Stayton, Ore., for a change order and an extended construction schedule.

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One of our goals is to “ minimize construction

impacts; another is to make the wisest investment of public dollars.

The project’s change order and revised schedule led to several nights of construction noise for the south Ashland neighborhood last spring as a specialty contractor was brought in to remove the original deck using high pressure water. Please accept my apology for that inconvenience. One of our goals is to minimize construction impacts; another is to make the wisest investment of public dollars. I’m confident these transportation improvements will stand the test of time. We worked with the contractor on other minor construction challenges, including coloring on the concrete sidewalks and the type of traffic signals. For the project duration, we’ve dedicated Dennis Steers, our regional public liaison, to keeping local businesses and stakeholders informed of the project developments. Communication is the key to a successful partnership. Our projects aren’t always perfect. However, we hold both our contractors and project office accountable for the investments we make in Oregon’s transportation infrastructure. We take our business relationships seriously and we value our relationship with Rogue Valley communities. On behalf of our agency, I want to thank you — Ashland motorists, pedestrians, local business owners and stakeholders — for your patience and understanding as we wrap up the Ashland bridge projects this year. We appreciate your patience, your understanding and, most importantly, your continued support.

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About Art Anderson Prior to working with ODOT, Art Anderson served 20 years as a Civil Engineering Air Force officer. As Area Manager for the Rogue Valley for the past decade, Art manages state highway construction projects in Josephine and Jackson counties. He represents ODOT as a member of the Rogue Valley Area Commission on Transportation.

About RVACT The Rogue Valley Area Commission on Transportation was charted in 1997 by the Oregon Transportation Commission. RVACT address all aspects of transportation (surface, marine, air, and transportation safety) with primary focus on the state transportation system. The advisory body considers regional and local transportation issues if they affect the state system. RVACT plays a key advisory role in the development of the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program, which schedules funded transportation projects. RVACT establishes a public process for area project selection priorities for the STIP. Through that process and following adopted project eligibility criteria, it prioritizes transportation problems and solutions and recommends projects in its area are to be included in the STIP.

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ASHLAND’S EXIT 14 FACELIFT

nears finish

Nearly $30 million of construction work at Ashland’s Interstate 5 interchanges is wrapping up after more than two years of work to upgrade the I-5 bridge at exit 14 and replace the bridge at exit 19.

completion that the public can now see how much better this bridge serves the community.”

The Green Springs Highway (Oregon 66) Bridge is being widened from the center out to accommodate higher traffic volumes and improved bicycle and pedestrian safety. The new bridge will be nearly three times wider than the original I-5 overpass, featuring two, 12-foot travel lanes, a center turn lane, traffic signals, bike lanes and sidewalks. Non-standard bridge rails were replaced. Roadway lighting, decorative pedestrian lighting and a bike signal were also added.

A contract change order in October 2011 was needed for unanticipated work at exit 14. Originally designed to rough up the bridge deck and recap it with concrete, the project ran into an unpleasant surprise. Once the asphalt cap was removed, prime contractor Concrete Enterprises (of Stayton, Oregon) discovered irreparable rebar and concrete. A specialized hydro-demolition crew was brought in to chew up the deck. The prime contractor then started fresh with new rebar and concrete.

Crews poured and stamped colored sidewalks. Final paving follows along with installation of new traffic signals at the I-5 ramps. According to ODOT Public Service Representative Dennis Steers, the cooler autumn temperatures provide a good opportunity for plants to establish in the interchange landscaping. “Drivers have been patient with the split-road configuration in the construction zone and the delays,” said Steers. “We’re close enough to odotmovingahead.com

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“The contractor did a great job adjusting,” Steers said. “The work took a little longer than expected but the final product is a solid improvement.” Prior to the bridge repair work, an eighth-mile section of I-5 was lowered so the 45-year-old bridge sits 17.4 feet above the roadway, in compliance with modern clearance standards. AESTHETIC DESIGN The new exit 14 bridge features artistic treatments that reflect downtown Ashland’s historic architecture and natural environment. A nine member Aesthetic Advisory Committee, appointed by the City of Ashland, recommended an Art Deco theme for the bridges.

of the Ashland Springs Hotel, first constructed in 1925. Ten-foot tall concrete pylons at the ends of the bridges are topped by a pointed chevron design also found on the hotel’s parapets. The shape also is featured on the supports for the light poles. The pedestrian fencing with a

“The color and design blend well with Ashland’s landscape,” said Katharine Flanagan, director of sales and marketing for Ashland Chamber of Commerce, who was also on the project’s Aesthetics Advisory Committee. The group found inspiration in design details from the rooftop

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rust-colored powder coating features a central arch design that can be seen on the hotel’s rooftop facade. In another nod to downtown Ashland, the light poles on the bridge include supports for city-supplied banners. The light fixtures are dark-sky compliant to minimize any light pollution at night. The bridges at exit 14 and exit 19 are a light tan color to match their natural surroundings. “The design came out great as a welcoming gateway into Oregon, from both a highway and Ashland Street perspective,” said Flanagan. “We look forward to experiencing the new lanes, sidewalks and traffic signals.”

BICYCLE & PED UPGRADES Finding ways to help improve the safety for bicyclists and pedestrians is a priority for ODOT and the City of Ashland. The exit 14 bridge repair project builds dedicated bicycle and pedestrian lanes that will connect to existing City of Ashland facilities. Approaching the interchange from downtown on Ashland Street, the project will build new five-foot bike lanes and seven-foot sidewalks on the interchange approaches. On the bridge itself, bike lanes will increase to eight feet in width, which is wider than today’s safety standards. Bike lanes will be six-feet wide on the east side of the interchange.

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We’re close enough to “completion that the public can now see how much better this bridge serves the community.

ODOT Public Service Representative Dennis Steers

Approaching the interchange from the east, a dedicated rightturn lane is in place for vehicles turning northbound on I-5. Cyclists approaching from the east will continue in the bike lane, traveling straight across the overpass. Cyclists traveling east on Green Springs Highway will encounter a bike signal activated by a detector loop to address the safety issue. The bike signal will allow cyclists to cross the southbound I-5 on-ramp before vehicles are allowed to turn southbound. While still relatively new to Oregon, bike signals are an emerging transportation technology. Ashland is among the first communities outside the Portland metro area to receive one.

Oregonians had not seen an investment of this magnitude in highway and bridge construction since the state’s interstate freeway system was built in the 1950s and ’60s.

The agency’s $1.3 billion OTIA III State Bridge Delivery Program is repairing and replacing hundreds of bridges across the state to ensure the unrestricted movement of freight and spur economic growth. OTIA III is the third Oregon Transportation Investment Act. The $2.46 billion package allocates $1.3 billion to the bridge program and $1.16 billion to fund county and city maintenance projects, local bridge repair and replacement work, and modernization projects statewide.

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Of the 365 bridges in the program, 11 are currently under construction and another 260 have been completed and open to traffic. Now in its ninth year, the bridge program remains within budget. By the end of 2013, all but one project will be open to traffic. The bridge program ensures the safety of Oregonians by strengthening the state’s aging transportation infrastructure. ODOT has been addressing Oregon’s aging bridges for more than 11 years. Environmental assessments of state

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Through 2011, the bridge program has sustained more than 17,000 jobs. Overall, the program will create or sustain approximately 23,000 jobs.

bridges began in 2001, and the Economic and Bridge Options Report contributed to the passage of the 2003 Oregon Transportation Investment Act, which funded the bridge program. In 2010, the program spent more than $174 million on construction, design and program management. Of those expenditures, 89 percent went to Oregon firms. Since work started in 2003, businesses and individuals have earned more than $991 million after taxes.

Under the banner of “Small Business Success in the 21st Century,” the 10th Annual Rogue Valley Business Resource Fair is scheduled for Saturday, October 27 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the RCC / SOU Higher Education Center, located at 101 Bartlett Street in Medford. Sponsored by Rogue Valley businesses and state and federal government organizations, the free informational event provides industry and trade seminars, consultations, and other key resources for small business owners and those considering an entrepreneurial venture. Admission is free. Pre-registration and same-day registration is available. Sessions include “Doing Business on the Internet,” “How to Dominate Your Niche Using Social Media,” Are You Ready to be in Business,” “Branding & Differentiation,” and

Without bridge program funding, weight limits on Oregon’s aging bridges would become common. At the time OTIA III was enacted, the potential cost to Oregon’s economy was estimated at $123 billion in lost production and 88,000 lost jobs in the next 25 years.

“Managing Your Business Finances – Tips from a Pro.” Business and government representatives, including the Oregon Department of Transportation, will staff information booths in Exhibitors Hall. The Resource Fair is divided into three sessions, with breaks to visit the exhibitors. “The Resource Fair is neither a sales event nor a trade show,” said ODOT Civil Rights Field Coordinator Christie Meacham. “This is an invaluable opportunity, a golden ticket, for business owners to tap private and public resources that can help their business become more successful.” More information about the Rogue Valley Business Resource Fair is available via phone: (541) 552-8300; email: nickelb@sou.edu; and online: www.sou.edu/bizfair.

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GEOLOGISTS STOP HIGHWAYS FROM

slip slidin’ away

Southern Oregon residents can attest to driving in one of the most mountainous regions of the United States, however, not many motorists are aware of the constant battle to keep highways from sliding down hillsides. “Active slides can catch motorists, especially motorcyclists, unaware,” said ODOT Geologist Kim Wyttenberg. During this past summer ODOT geologists and contract drillers bored deep holes into four active slides on Oregon 66, Oregon 272 and Interstate 5 to place monitoring instruments that determine not only what’s going on under the surface but also what kind of fix is needed to repair the slide. “Drilling and setting our instruments provides us with invaluable data that we can incorporate in our repair plans,” said Wyttenberg. “The monitors give us a picture of the slide’s vertical and horizontal shifts as well as the location of the slip plane [a weak plane in a rock mass from which material is likely to break off in a slide].” According to Wyttenberg, the regional slide budget of roughly $1 million per

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year is a challenge due to the soils found in southwest Oregon, especially along the Oregon Coast Highway (U.S. 101). A perennial headache exists on the historic Green Springs Highway (Oregon 66) at milepost 12, near the Cascade summit. A large nearby drain and culvert were added several years ago to divert water away from the slide area. Wyttenberg said ODOT maintenance crews return every spring and summer to repair the slide only to see it break away the next winter. “That’s the price we pay for building roads in these rugged areas,” said Wyttenberg.

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STREAM RESTORATION PROJECT Improves Kane Creek Fish Habitat

Heavy equipment and dump trucks typically aren’t the machinery that comes to mind when you think of fish habitat restoration but at Kane Creek, a Rogue River tributary near Gold Hill, these resources and more are clearing obstacles for the upstream migration of steelhead and other species. ODOT maintenance crews began work in August with a federal investment of $2 million specifically allocated for fish habitat restoration, the first of two projects in the area. The stream restoration project targets a 75-yard run downstream from a box culvert beneath Lampman Road, which runs parallel to Interstate 5. Kane Creek once provided miles of fish-spawning habitat. Despite including a fish ladder, the old box culvert’s four-foot drop at the outlet remained an impediment to migrating fish most of the year. Designed to install roughly 600 yards of well-placed rocks (large boulders to fine pebbles) as well as large root wads that mimic natural stream conditions, the current project reconstructed the channel by allowing

fish to migrate to the upper reaches of the stream. “This restoration project gives fish more opportunities to reach the upper portions of Kane Creek,” said Jerry Vogt, regional environmental coordinator for ODOT. “Until now, fish were limited to a few high-water events to move upstream.” Donning hip waders and an electroshock backpack, Vogt and other ODOT staff “shocked” steelhead, salamanders and ‘muddlers’ — a finny family of fish that includes the prickly sculpin and the riffle sculpin — gently netting each one to move them downstream unharmed. “Stunned fish are guided into the nets,” Vogt said. “Most of the time, fish drifted into the net without help.” A pump and hose were used to dewater the creek. The water was moved downstream through a 250-foot pipe to allow work in the channel. According to Vogt, while the project didn’t realign the stream channel it made it more hospitable for migrating fish.

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project gives fish “ Thismorerestoration opportunities to reach the upper portions of Kane Creek. ” Jerry Vogt, ODOT regional environmental coordinator

Kane Creek culvert replacement In spring 2013, the access road connecting traffic from the southbound I-5 ramps at exit 40 to Old Stage Road will undergo a full closure as the rusting culvert in Kane Creek is replaced. ODOT met with affected residents, businesses and the local fire district to develop a construction plan that minimized traffic impacts. During the closure, local traffic will use I-5 exit 43 and Lampman and Old Stage Roads to detour around the closure. “The project team weighed building the project under traffic with a short detour route,” said Jayne Randleman, ODOT project leader, “but that would have added months to the construction schedule. Instead, the replacement project will utilize precast girders and supports and get the road reopened in a much shorter amount of time.” According to Randleman, this project has garnered support from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife as well as local stakeholders due to its multiple benefits. “It feels good to have a project that improves the road for drivers as well as for spawning steelhead,” Randleman said.

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ODOT Moving Ahead - September 2012