With the footprint set, studies are nearly complete on bypass alternatives for the Highway 62 Corridor Project, which has been in development for more than three years.
The bypass alternatives will now be studied in the Draft Environment Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS). The federally-required DEIS is scheduled for release in March.
‘We’ve hunkered down getting these reports done,’ said ODOT Environmental Project Manager Jerry Marmon. ‘We had a few meetings this past fall, but nothing like the earlier meetings, where we changed the proposed footprint to reduce project impacts.’
Changes were made in the area of the proposed Vilas Road interchange. Now, the project teams are considering a Single Point Urban Interchange (SPUI), similar to what is planned for the South Medford Interchange Project currently under construction.
Changes have also been made on the north end of the Highway 62 corridor near the Veterans’ Administration Domiciliary. The corridor alternatives would allow through traffic to travel on an access-controlled highway and leave Highway 62 as it currently is with full access to streets and driveways.
There are several variations of the route to avoid development or natural resources.
The two options at the south end to the bypass are:
- The Split-Diamond option, which would modify the existing ramps north of Interstate 5 exit 30 to accommodate bypass traffic. Motorists would travel on a separate road from I-5 to White City. The existing alignment on Highway 62 would remain as is with full access to businesses.
- The Bypass Alternative, where the bypass would merge with the existing Highway 62 from I-5 to near the current Butler Truck Center and Lava Lanes. Due to high volumes of traffic, there would be no access from that point west to I-5. The Poplar/Bullock intersection on Highway 62 would change into either an underpass or overpass.
The Highway 62 corridor from Medford to White City experiences some of the heaviest traffic and congestion in southern Oregon. The volume of traffic in the corridor is similar to that found on Interstate 5 north of Medford and it is expected to double over the next 20 years.Alternatives under consideration and other project information is available online at www.oregon.gov/odot/hwy/region3.