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Hit-and-Run Highlights Road Changes

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MEDFORD, Ore. –  Jackson County officials said, several decades ago, Lozier Lane was more of a rural area. Overtime, it’s become urbanized with bicyclists and pedestrians using the narrow road along with vehicles.

For several years, the city and county have been working on widen the road and they are getting close to a design. A driver who struck several kids and took off on Friday is just one of many reminders to people who use the road, that Lozier Lane is unsafe.

“There’s been a few times where it’s been really close,” said local resident, Connie Day. “We’ve had two dogs hit and we lost a kitten the other day.”

The dangers haven’t gone unnoticed. Jackson County roads is planning to make some major changes on Lozier Lane and West Main Street down to Stewart Avenue.

“We’ve been aware of this for many years we’re gonna add bike lanes, sidewalks, curbs and gutter, move the drainage underground,” stated Mike Kuntz, the Jackson County Roads Engineer.

There will also be some light poles and a center turn lane added, but these changes mean making more room.

“The current right of way out there is 40 feet width and we’re gonna need 60 feet in order to build a project so we’ll be buying 10 feet of each side of the road,” Kuntz said.

Before crews break ground county officials plan to take a survey if they can buy yard space along the road. The project will cost $7.5 million. The county has $3.7 million through the Rogue Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization. The county is still coming up the rest to start the construction phase. Both pedestrians and homeowners on that road agree.