Ashland’s two Interstate 5 interchange bridges — exits 14 and 19 — are scheduled to undergo construction in 2010.
In preparation for the bridge work, the City of Ashland has taken the lead in helping to select aesthetic designs while staying within the projects’ schedule and budget. The city-appointed Aesthetics Advisory Committee has been developing preliminary designs to incorporate into the project.
According to ODOT Area Manager Art Anderson, the committee’s work and more details about the bridge work will be shared with the public at an open house later this spring.
“Unlike the North and South Medford Interchange projects, the Ashland projects will focus on just the I-5 bridges with some minor modifications,” Anderson said.
The exit 14 work includes:
• Widening the existing bridge to accommodate a center turn lane;
• Adding sidewalks and bike lanes on the bridge;
• Lowering I-5 to accommodate today’s bridge height requirements;
• Signalizing the on- and off-ramps.
The exit 19 work includes:
• Replacing the existing bridge to accommodate a center turn lane;
• Constructing wide shoulders that can accommodate future sidewalks;
• Adding design aesthetics to the bridge design.
These projects are part of the Oregon Department of Transportation’s 10-year, $3 billion Oregon Transportation Investment Act. OTIA funds are repairing or replacing hundreds of bridges, paving and maintaining city and county roads, improving and expanding interchanges, adding new capacity to Oregon’s highway system and removing freight bottlenecks statewide.
Based on 2008 dollars, about 14 family-wage jobs are sustained for every $1 million spent on transportation construction in Oregon. Each year during the remainder of the OTIA program, it is estimated that construction projects will sustain an average of 4,100 family-wage jobs.