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Business Impact of Rogue Valley Expressway.

The Rogue Valley Expressway is set to open up in the next few months. This 4 and a half mile stretch will have no exits.

Posted: Dec 28, 2018 6:22 PM
Updated: Dec 28, 2018 6:22 PM

MEDFORD, Ore.- The Rogue Valley Expressway will start off of Crater Lake Highway in Medford and end in White City, right in front of Umi Sushi.

Drivers on this road will not have the chance to exit towards the restaurants in Crater Lake Plaza like they had the option before.

Umi Sushi will be the first restaurant drivers see when they exit.

NewsWatch 12 talked with the employees here to see what they expect.

"I'm hoping that it being the first thing they see, it'll be good. The word has been getting out a lot that we're even out here towards this way.  So i'm hoping that it will give a benefit to us to be the first ones they do see," says head waitress Haley.

Haley told me that if business picks up enough, they will have to hire more staff, but they haven't made any changes yet.

"For all of us it's really new, we're kinda curious on how it's going to work at all so we're all ready to see what's going to happen," she says.

Businesses right as the end of the Rogue Valley Expressway might be seeing some more foot traffic, but we also talked with a business off of Crater Lake Highway that could be seeing less traffic driving by.

The manager of the Olive Garden in the Crater Lake Plaza thinks that less traffic going by his restaurant won't slow down business one bit.

"When you're visiting this part of town and the businesses here, you're coming here for that certain agenda. So if you are coming to Olive Garden or you're coming to some of the restaurants here or you're coming to shop, I think that's your agenda.

A shopper at Crater Lake Plaza agrees that the expressway won't stop her from coming here.

Leslie says "If i'm going to stop I will. If I want to just get through, it will be nice."

If anything, James thinks that customers are more likely to come in if they don't have to battle traffic to get there.

"When you set off on your journey, sometimes traffic can get in the way of that. We think it's going to bring some business our way," he says.

He told me it's not the amount of traffic that matters, but the fact that his restaurant is near other businesses.

"There's all kinds of businesses around us so when you come to do the different things that you need, you can also eat here too," James says.

He told NewsWatch 12 that the company is looking to revamping their sign off of the highway so people will know still know that Olive Garden is an option, even if they are taking an alternate route.

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