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MailTribune.com
  • Exit 33 could get a redesign

  • Backed-up traffic at Central Point's Exit 33 could become a thing of the past if about $3 million in improvements to the interchange are approved.
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  • Backed-up traffic at Central Point's Exit 33 could become a thing of the past if about $3 million in improvements to the interchange are approved.
    Oregon Department of Transportation say the relatively simple improvements would accommodate traffic through 2030, when Central Point's population is expected to grow to 26,000 people from about 17,300 now.
    The improvements under consideration include two right turn lanes onto East Pine Street from the northbound off-ramp and two left turn lanes from Pine to the southbound on-ramp. ODOT officials said a ballpark cost for the improvements is about $3 million.
    "They've filtered out quite a few different ideas to get to this point," said ODOT spokesman Gary Leaming.
    The changes are being proposed as a result of an Interchange Access Management Plan for Exit 33, drafted by ODOT. The state recently conducted similar reports at every Interstate 5 interchange across the state.
    "So as development occurs, we kind of have a road map to guide us," said Allie Krull, project manager.
    Central Point is expected to become Jackson County's second largest city by 2030, outpacing Ashland. With population growth comes increased development, traffic and freight loads, transportation officials say.
    If the plans are approved, construction won't start for at least three years, as capital improvement funds are not yet available to pay for the project.
    "We're quite a few years out from any kind of construction," Leaming said.
    ODOT will present and discuss the proposed changes to Exit 33 during a meeting from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 6, at the Central Point City Council Chambers, 140 S. Third St.
    — Ryan Pfeil
    Read more in Friday's Mail Tribune.
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