ODOT to hold open house on Highway 99 improvements

, Written by Roma Villavicencio, Posted: Wed, July 23 2014 at 11:15 PM, Updated: Thu, July 24 2014 at 6:04 PM

Phoenix, Ore.--  The Oregon Department of Transportation will host a meeting for the public Thursday to get the public's input on a proposed Highway 99 corridor plan.

Just a couple days ago Kihan Yun said he saw a car crash in front of his Farmer's Market in Phoenix.

"A lot of accidents in a 6 month period."

According to the Oregon Department of Transportation the stretch of Highway 99 between Garfield Street in Medford and North Valleyview in Ashland sees 80 accidents a year, 5% of them fatal.

That's just one of the reasons Ian Horlacher with ODOT said the road needs work.

"We have plenty of capacity it operates well but safety wise especially in the sections between Phoenix and Talent and Talent and Ashland where it's a four lane section there's a lot of turning cars...there's a lot of rear ending accidents," said Horlacher.

ODOT is now starting a 20 year plan for the Highway 99 corridor it includes widening sidewalks and narrowing lanes. 

From Phoenix to Ashland instead of four lanes there'd be two with a middle lane for turns. A  bike lane would be added to the entire 10.5 mile stretch.

"Everyone's competing here for their space within the roadway," said Horlacher.

Yun said he's interested in the details and so far hopes ODOT follows through with the proposed changes.

"How many people have to be dying in this road. Then they finally pay attention."

The "drop-in" open house will be at Jackson County Fire District #5's Talent station at 5811 South Pacific Highway from 4pm until 7pm.

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About the Author

Roma Villavicencio

NBC5 News reporter Roma Villavicencio comes from Southern California where she reported for Garden Grove TV Channel 3.

She is a graduate of the journalism/communications program at Cal State Fullerton.

Roma is very proud of her Mexican heritage. She is bi-lingual and looks forward to serving our Hispanic community.

She loves food, music and the San Francisco Giants. She lives by the slogan “viva la vida!”

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