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WILL IMPROVE SAFETY, REDUCE CONGESTION Right of way negotiations for construction easements along Crater Lake Highway — from Poplar Drive to Delta Waters Road — are at the heart of the current behindthe-scenes preparation for the Oregon 62 Expressway project. “The right of way work is not as visible as construction work but it is no less important to the overall project,” said ODOT Project Leader Dick Leever. “Even though a lot of the right of way along the Oregon 62 corridor is owned by our agency, there are gaps. “Our right of way agents are meeting with local property owners to secure the additional easements we need to provide the construction contractor room to work.” The corridor is a critical business connection for freight, tourism and commuters.

The project’s engineering team recently finetuned the conceptual design, leading to $15 million in savings. The changes included: • Building a short bridge over Commerce Drive to access the properties located along the east side of the Medford Airport instead of a series of streets from Vilas Road; • Replacing the planned connection of Justice Road and East Gregory Road with an emergency vehicle access from the expressway; and • Modifying the bridge over Vilas Road to accept a tighter diamond interchange design when on- and off-ramps are eventually constructed.


September 6, 2013

“Oregon 62 and Delta Waters Road is the busiest intersection in the entire southwest Oregon region,” said Leever. “The traffic counts are higher than those at I-5 north of Medford.” The $120 million multimodal project is designed to increase capacity and improve safety along the Oregon 62. The highway exceeds capacity standards and future growth is expected to significantly increase traffic volumes. Addressing safety “Higher crash rates at corridor intersections, especially from Interstate 5 to Delta Waters Road, are a safety concern,” said ODOT Public Information Officer Gary Leaming. The multimodal project adds sidewalks and transit-related enhancements on the existing Oregon 62 corridor. The project will also build a four-lane accesscontrolled expressway that provides faster travel and improved safety within and throughout the region. The 4.5-mile expressway will start with three lanes of eastbound traffic at Poplar and Bullock Roads near Fred Meyer. Through traffic will turn left on a small directional interchange located across from Whittle Road. Traffic will then travel along a four-lane expressway on the east side of the Medford Airport, span over Vilas Road, and connect to the existing Crater Lake Highway near Corey Road. Traffic destined for commercial centers such as Costco, Lowe’s and Safeway will continue as is done today.

The first construction phase is slated to begin in 2014.