Business owners share concerns during transportation committee’s visit

Phoenix, Ore. —  Oregon’s Joint Transportation Committee is in the Rogue Valley, touring recent road projects and holding a public hearing. The meeting is part of their 7-stop tour across the state. They’re gathering information from the community about what’s working, and what’s not when it comes to Southern Oregon’s roads.

“3 years is a long time to just barely get by, just barely get by, just barely get by,” owner Natesha Ritter-Martinez of Joe’s Restaurant says.

For as long as Joe’s Restaurant has been open, Natesha Ritter-Martinez has been struggling to keep it that way.

“People would just prefer to drive on than to stop here in Phoenix,” Ritter-Martinez says.

Road construction on Highway 99 and the I-5 exit began months after they opened in 2013, an it’s been causing headaches for them ever since.

“Closed because of gas line ruptures a couple times, our entrance here has been cut off completely for a couple of months,” Ritter-Martinez adds, “tens of thousands of revenue loss each year because of it.”

That project is one of a handful that the Joint Transportation Committee will be visiting, in an effort to see where current infrastructure is working, and what problems need to be addressed.

Ritter-Martinez  hopes communication with areas that will be impacted by transportation projects will be at the forefront.

“Survey the local businesses, see the impact and maybe create a program that will help businesses throughout the construction processes.”

A public hearing wrapped up at 7Wednesday night. The committee will take the information it gathers back to Salem to create a transportation plan for the upcoming legislative session.


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