MEDFORD, Ore-- After three years of construction the new Rogue Valley Expressway is open. It took 15 years to plan and costs 120 million dollars.
This afternoon Greg Everist counted today's earnings. Tables were cleaned from the breakfast and lunch rush. He is the owner of Diner 62. Which is off of the corner of Crater Lake Highway and the new expressway. At first he was unsure about the road. "I guess my initial thoughts we're, we are going to have to wait and see what it was going to do. Is it going to help traffic" said Everist.
He says construction did not harm business. Now that the road is open, he doesn't think it will increase business either. "The one nice thing about it is, it will lighten traffic up so you can turn left out of our parking lot" said Everist.
Everist even check out the road today. To see what three years of construction made. He says its a nice looking highway.
Beth St. Arnold lives in Eagle Point and works along Crater Lake Highway. She says this expressway is no help to her. "It dumps you out almost by Popular (Drive). Then you have to hurry up and rush over to get into the merge lane so you can do a u-turn to come back" said St. Arnold.
The road is suppose to save drivers five minutes. For St. Arnold it adds more time and frustration for her to take it.
I also took this question to social media. Asking people what they think of the new 120 million dollar road. One person said the drive from Medford to Eagle Point usually takes her 15 minutes. It took her half the time today. Another person asked when it's going to be expanded to Eagle Point.
Everist is wondering how he can improve his business with this new road. "We might look at some signage for advertising" said Everist.
ODOT says the idea behind opening the expressway is to improve safety and lower congestion on Crater Lake Highway.