PHOENIX, Ore. — Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) analysts say drivers should expect delays on Interstate 5 for the next few weeks. Starting Monday, ODOT will drop travel down to one lane in each direction at exit 24 near Phoenix. This change will allow crews to install a storm water pipe below the highway. It’s part of the Fern Valley Interchange project.
For 25 days, speeds will likely be reduced to 50 mph. ODOT experts say some 38,000 drivers travel through that section of I-5 between Medford and Phoenix.
But this is just the first travel impact of several to come. After this pipe is completed, there will be temporary on and off ramps at that exit for nearly a year. And at some point, for a five day period, those ramps will be shut down completely for project work. Most drivers can use Highway 99, however trucks will have to drive to exit 27 to turn around.
The $72 million Fern Valley Interchange project runs through September 2016.
When complete, exit 24 will feature Oregon’s first diverging diamond interchange with a narrower footprint that aims to move traffic safely and efficiently while saving right of way costs.