Businesses Make Way for Expressway

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MEDFORD, Ore. — While cars cruised down Crater Lake Highway Wednesday afternoon, owner of Fast Bozy and Girlz Toyz, Scott White, was hard at work moving out of his store and temporarily into a trailer.

“Location is important. This was a great location for me, probably the best in the valley, so, I’m trying to find something, trying to downsize a little bit,” said White

The land his business is on is in the path of the Oregon Highway 62 Expressway and White says this day has been coming for a little while.

“Then you start seeing the writting on the wall, you start going to a few meetings from O-DOT and then you learn that sooner or later it’s going to be time to move and yeah, so here it is. Rock and roll,” said White.

Last month the Oregon Department of Transportation had their final environmental impact statement approved paving the way for the next steps.

“That’s big, it basically puts a stamp on the project and means we can go forward and start building it,” said ODOT spokesman Gary Leaming.

The first step is to make sure all of the land needed for the construction is purchased, cleared, and ready to go.

“In road construction, you want to have all of the right-of-way purchased and ready to go when you have the contractor come on board,” said Leaming.

Leaming say the bidding for the construction will take place next March with construction beginning soon after.

“Currently we’re going into final design, we’re acquiring final right- of-way and so next year at this time we should be in construction,” said Leaming.

As for White, he said he’s had a little bad luck finding a place but knows he’ll be back up and running after being the first domino in construction to fall.

“I’m the first phase that has to go and from there on I guess they’ll start working,” said White.