ODOT Project Hits Speed Bump

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WHITE CITY, Ore. — Eric Gregory lives in White City and said sometimes, the traffic going into Medford can be brutal.

“Bumper to bumper probably from Fred Meyer clear back to the Wal-Mart there, some days,” said Gregory.

Eliminating that traffic is the goal of the Oregon Department of Transportation’s expressway project, but that project has hit a speed bump.

“We’re behind in securing the needed right of way for this project to meet our timeline of this spring, so we’ve adjusted it to this coming December,” said O.D.O.T. spokesman Gary Leaming.

Leaming said the state is backlogged in clearing projects like this one. Although there is a delay in ground breaking by almost a year, Leaming said there are positives to waiting.

“The benefit to the tax payer is that there will, presumably be some savings as a result of this better plan, better specifications that we can go to bid on,” said Leaming.

White City commuters currently have to deal with construction on Table Rock Road while the county works on a project to widen the section north of Vilas Road.  Leaming said commuters won’t have to worry about both projects causing delays at the same time.

“Those two projects will not be occurring concurrent, so you’ll have some separation there, and I think that’s a good thing for traffic,” said Leaming.

Gregory knows the expressway is still years away from completion and much construction will have to be done first.

“Have two different ways of commuting back and forth and we really need that right now, especially  with how big we’re growing in Eagle Point, White  City and Medford,” said Gregory.