Changes Coming To Signal On U.S. 199

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GRANTS PASS, Ore. — Owner of Fairgorunds Towing and Shell, Randy Harris knows access to customers is one of the key factors in running a business.

“If you have a bad location, if you’re hard to get to, if you’re hard to get out of, it impacts your business,” said Harris.

A new project by the Oregon Department of Transportation will take down the Fairgrounds traffic signal on Highway 199.

“This has been a safety problem for the state as well as a congestion problem on redwood highway for quite some time,” said ODOT spokesperson Gary Leaming.

Leaming said safety and traffic will improve for commuters.

“It’s a very crash prone intersection and the reason for that, our engineers say is because that signal is just too close together to the others and drivers just don’t expect to stop,” said Leaming.

The absence of the light, however, means drivers leaving the fairgrounds or Fairgrounds Road will have to make u-turns down the road if they wish to go the opposite direction. Harris is afraid this is an inconvenience that might scare away customers.

“They’ll have to back track approximately three to four blocks to get back to the same location that they could have been at with this light,” said Harris.

Harris said this has been a battle for years, and although he knows the intersection can be problematic, he wishes other options were given a chance.

“It seems to me that it would have been simpler to change the light so that the fairgrounds light would turn red and the Ringuette light stays green,” said Harris.