A project two decades in the making is finally breaking ground today in east Medford.
The Springbrook Road Improvement Project is going to mean a lot of changes for the east Medford area and months of construction. But some involved say the result will be worth the wait.
The project was in the works for two decades before it finally gained enough priority and funding to start Phase 1. According to Medford Public Works Director Cory Crebbins, crews began work before the official start date of the project.
“A lot of work in advance of these projects because the utilities have to go in and relocate their utilities like water lines electric lines, gas lines,” Crebbins said. “This segment has been envisioned to be done for at least the last 20 years.”
The improvements to the busy east Medford road will include sidewalks, a center turning lane, bike lanes, and street lights. For nearby Kennedy Elementary School, it’s a big upgrade that will make the area safer for kids.
“We’re hoping it will improve the number of students that walk to school,” said Tiffany Reso with Kennedy Elementary.
A roundabout will also go in at the intersection of Springbrook and Cedar Links Drive. The city says it’s cheaper than stoplights and safer for drivers and pedestrians.
“There’s not even a crosswalk or anything so if you’re coming from the cedar links areas there really is not a safe way,” said Reso.
“If you have accidents at a roundabout, vehicles are moving slow and they are moving in the same direction so there are very few injuries and almost no fatalities at roundabouts,” Crebbins explained. Such a large project has a big price tag at $3.37 million as well as a long timeline.
“Its gonna be a long closure and long detour. I’m looking at about nine months,” said Crebbins.
But some Springbrook residents don’t seem to mind.
“They like to go to the school, the high school to play. I just have that peace of mind knowing they are safe,” said Local father Papa Fell. He says he can deal with the long term construction if it means a safer street.
“Anything that gets the neighborhood safer for the kids I’m down with it. I can deal with the noise and everything else until it gets done.”
A section of Springbrook road from Pheasant Lane to Ceder Links Drive will close down and traffic will be redirected to Crater Lake Avenue. The project is slated to be finished in September.
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