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OdotNews Briefs

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OIT students tour highway projects

Oregon Institute of Technology engineering students recently visited two of the largest highway projects under construction in southern Oregon. The group of sixteen students made the tour on May 17, starting in Eugene, where they visited the I-5 Beltline project.

The $72.5 million project will rebuild the interchange at Interstate 5 and Beltline Highway to meet modern design and safety standards. It also will rebuild the Beltline Highway at Gateway Street intersection east of the freeway interchange.

Federal funds will be combined with state and local funds to build:

  • A new ‘flyover’ bridge from I-5 northbound to Beltline Highway.
  • A new ramp from I-5 southbound to westbound Beltline Highway.
  • New auxiliary lanes to the Beltline Highway-Coburg Road Interchange.
  • Soundwalls along the west side of I-5.
  • Bridge replacements and widening.
  • New bicycle and pedestrian facilities including a new bike and pedestrian crossing of Interstate 5.

The student group then traveled south to visit the $70 million South Medford Interchange project, which is designed to improve safety and congestion problemsat the Barnett Road interchange area. By moving the interchange south to a new location, Barnett Road can function as a true local connector for local traffic.

The hallmark of the project is construction of a Single Point Urban Interchange for Medford. This design can quickly handle a large volume of traffic.

Training can prevent motorcycle crashes

Fatal motorcycle crashes around Oregon during the Memorial Day weekend served as a tragic reminder of the importance of training for motorcyclists.

‘Both new and experienced motorcycle riders can benefi t from training,’ said Michele O’Leary, motorcycle safety program manager for the Oregon Department of Transportation. ‘Before you take the bike out for your next ride, consider taking a refresher course, like TEAM OREGON’s Rider Skills Practice Course.’

TEAM OREGON offers courses for riders of all abilities, from beginning and intermediate riders, to experienced and advanced riders. There is something to gain for all riders:

  • Intermediate Rider Training is designed to help riders returning to motorcycling or those who have limited riding experience.
  • Rider Skills Practice is the perfect place for current riders to sharpen cornering, braking and emergency maneuvering skills.

Find class schedules and rider resources on the TEAM OREGON Web site,

ODOT offers additional tips for motorcycle riders:

  • Don’t drink and drive. Up to 40 percent of all fatalities are attributed to motorcyclists riding under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicants.
  • Get endorsed. Motorcyclists must obtain and possess a motorcycle endorsement on their driver licenses. Visit for more information.
  • Watch out for curves. Beware of taking curves that you can’t see around. A parked truck or a patch of gravel may be awaiting you.
  • Watch your speed. Obey speed limits and drive the appropriate speed for the conditions
« Back to the June 2007 edition