MEDFORD – After nearly three years of construction work, the Rogue Valley Expressway is set to open by the middle of next week, the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) said on Friday.
Contractors working on the striping and signage are expected to finish up over the next several days and nights. Signal turn-on and final sign installation is scheduled for late Tuesday night.
"Once open, possibly as early as Wednesday morning, it will complete nearly three years of construction and 15 years of planning on a project designed to improve safety and congestion," ODOT said.
The four-lane, $120 million expressway begins east of I-5 Exit 30 and diverges from Crater Lake Highway southeast of the Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport. The expressway spans Coker Butte and Vilas Roads, and connects at a signalized intersection south of White City.
For through-motorists — an estimated 30 percent of traffic on Highway 62, ODOT said — the 4.5 mile long expressway could save roughly five minutes in travel time. The speed limit along the expressway is set at 55 MPH.
"We’re reminding motorists to use caution at the new traffic control intersections, both at the north end of the expressway with the new signal south of White City and the new south-end merge points," ODOT said.
Knife River Materials of Central Point were contracted to do the construction work, and the design was developed "with the help of local citizens."
$100 million of the project was funded the 2009 Oregon Jobs and Transportation Act, according to ODOT.