Finally, serious ideas to extend Hwy.140

{gallery}11_22_11/140{/gallery} Same venue; different address; alternate means of  access. These seemingly insignificant modifications may have explained the sparse turnout Nov. 16, for the 5-7 p.m. open house presented by Oregon’s Department of Transportation.
The location, Jackson County Parks Auditorium, no longer provides the once-familiar, though circuitous entry via Antelope Road. The structure’s address of choice switched from 200 Antelope to 7520 Table Rock Road, White City. Further complicating matters for uninitiated motorists, vehicles must now arrive at the premises through Gate 1, situated on Mosquito Lane. Incidentally, this gate was programmed to shut automatically at the  meeting’s 5 p.m. appointed starting time, sending puzzled hosts scurrying for remedial action. 

The Oregon 140 Corridor study is examining current and future uses from Interstate 5 exit 35, to White City, said ODOT Development Review Planner, Thomas Guevara, Jr.  A 2009 road exchange with Jackson County included portions of Blackwell and Kirtland Roads, Pacific Ave., Avenue G, Agate Road, and Leigh Way. “Recommended improvements include highway capacity, intersection safety, local road network and driveway consolidation along 140 from Central Point to east of  White City,” Guevara  continued. 

Guevara  estimated that a draft of the plan would become available in April of 2012.

“We seek to identify high crash areas, and improve public safety,” said Project Consultant, Jennifer Danzinger, of David Evans and Associates under contract with ODOT.  Both Danzinger and Consulting Traffic Engineer, Shelly Alexander traveled from Portland to conduct these opportunities for public input. They’ve taken recommendations from an 18-member Technical Advisory Committee, whose names and agency affiliations are available at their website, Danzinger said. “Since last spring, we’ve also met with our twelve-member Citizens Advisory Committee, listed on the same website. Then we meet with the public to get their comments.” Early postings of suggested plans as they develop, are expected  to begin appearing on the website,  within approximately two weeks. 

Permit Specialist, and ODOT veteran, Roger Allamand stood ready to address specific concerns regarding property conditions and safety issues.  These questions might include matters such as, “Could widening a certain section of the highway, interfere with someone’s access to an existing wheel chair ramp?”

By the meeting’s end, fewer than two dozen had strolled through to view the carefully exhibited visual aids, but hosts remained cordial and upbeat throughout.     
By F. C. Blake
Of the Independent


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