Highway 62 expressway project on hold

Medford, Ore. — An expressway project that is aimed at easing traffic on highway 62 is on hold due to conflicts with the Federal Aviation Administration. According to the project plans, an interchange would be built on Crater Lake Highway and Whittle avenue in Medford, that would take traffic on a four-lane expressway to White City. The expressway would be built between the airport and Costco.

Recently, the project was halted after it was discovered the new expressway would cut into the Rogue Valley International Medford Airport’s runway protection zone. That area needs to remain clear in case a plane does not make the runway.

“We’re trying to get through that hoop here so we can get the contract bid, and constructed,” Gary Leaming said, a spokesman for the Oregon Department of Transportation.

The project would require the airport and ODOT to exchange property. Part of the property ODOT would be receiving is on the future runway protection zone.

“FAA doesn’t want us to sell it, so we’re working out some details on how to get the road through there through an easement,” Bern Case said, the Director of the airport. “Everybody’s working on that, it’s going to take a little while, but I think we’ll be successful.”

The FAA, the airport, and ODOT are in negotiations over the property. Leaming is expecting the project to move forward, with a construction start date of Spring 2016.

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