MERLIN, Ore. — A Josephine County Public Works problem statement says public safety is in jeopardy if guard rails along Galice Road are not fixed.
Public Works says nearly all of the existing guard rails along Galice Road are below federal standards. Now, the agency is getting a $1,829,760 grant from the Western Federal Lands Access Program (FLAP) to fix them. The county will match $187,916. The FLAP grant allows counties to make roads that lead to federal lands safer.
"In this case Galice leads to a lot of BLM and Forest Service land down river," says Rob Brandes, the Director of Josephine County Public Works.
Right now the guard rails are more than 30 years old.
"In addition to raising some of that existing guard rail that's in lousy condition we're putting in additional guard rail in areas that we all feel are in need it terms of safety reasons," says Brandes.
The project will enhance or replace four miles of guard rails stretched across 14 miles of road. The guard rails are located in the Scenic River Corridor, so they must blend in with the surroundings. Crews will add patina rails, which means they are pre-weathered. While the project will fix rails within feet of the Hellgate Canyon lookout, they cannot add rails to the lookout itself.
"We are getting into the aesthetics, it's a lookout, so we cant exactly put guardrail across the thing without considerations to that," says Brandes.
Public Works expects to start the project this winter, completing it by this time next year.