ODOT progresses on Highway 62 improvements

Medford, Ore. — If you were driving on Highway 62 Friday, you may have noticed a change to your commute. The Oregon Department of Transportation is making progress on its Highway 62 construction project. As a result, it was able to open up an additional lane.

The intersection of Poplar and Bullock, is where drivers will see the biggest change. When you turn at this signal, you’ll have three lanes, rather than two.

While that change may seem minor to the public, it’ll help construction workers in the completion of the project, and make some of the surrounding businesses a little bit happier.

“It’s a little bit hectic at times. We’ve got vehicles pulling into the parking lot and that kind of thing,” said Kyle Thorne is the senior assistant manager for Discount Tire, conveniently located right next to the hustle and bustle of the Highway 62 Improvement Project.

“Biggest thing is just – getting into our business is hampered a little bit,” Thorne said.

Thorne said his store sees roughly 40 cars each day, he said the construction – sometimes gives customers a hard time.

“They can enter in here with a right-hand turn, but they can’t exit. They’ve got to go all the way down and come in,” Thorne said.

According to ODOT, 45% of all traffic in this area is slowed by safety and congestion problems.

“It gets pretty backed up, so hopefully that should make it a lot easier for just commuters and everyone getting through,” Thorne said.

However, he said he thinks ODOT is making good progress.

“I think once they get it all opened up and everything, it’ll speed things up and make it a little more accessible to everyone,” Thorne said.

Making the inconvenience worth the wait.

“We’re excited for it to get done,” Thorne said.

ODOT said improvements are expected to be finished by the end of the year. The project is estimated at $120 million. ODOT also said if you’re going to be driving in the area to expect night work, crews will be moving barriers and striping near both Poplar and Bullock, and Delta Waters intersections.

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