$5.4 Million Highway Project Underway To Enhance Safety

The Oregon Department of Transportation says the project will make the road safer for drivers and pedestrians.

Posted: May 18, 2018 5:05 PM
Updated: May 18, 2018 7:48 PM

TALENT, Ore. -- If you drive down Highway 99 from Talent to Ashland, you'll hit a bit of construction for the next few months. The Oregon Department of Transportation says the project will make the road safer for drivers and pedestrians. 

Ryan Olson, Rogue Farmers Hydroponic & Organic Garden Store Manager, said construction caused a bit of a headache for his business Thursday. 

"Yesterday we were having a little bit of trouble with cars being able to access our lot due to where their flaggers were located down the road," Olson said. 

He said cars were not able to turn into his lot because of the traffic backup. He said he called the company's manager and things got a lot better Friday. Olson said he believes the final project will be helpful in more ways than one.

"I think it will make it safer to be honest," Olson said. 

He said he has seen a number of accidents outside his doors. 

Gary Leaming, ODOT Spokesperson, said the $5.4 million project will add curb, gutter sidewalks, a center turn lane and one lane in each direction. 

"Calms traffic down, it's safer to turn into some of those businesses along that area," Leaming said. 

He said workers recently focused heavily on utility work, which takes longer than the entire project. 

"Right now, they're working on the drainage system before they go into that phased work, but for traffic that will be center lane, single lane in each direction right in the center so the delay should be minimal, if any," Leaming said. 

He said drivers can always bypass the construction by hopping on Interstate 5. The one-season project is set to be completed in September. 

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