County will hear proposals to 'Enhance' greenways

Nearly $1 million worth of new projects could be coming to the Bear Creek and Rogue River greenways if approved as one of Jackson County's "Enhance It" projects.

The Rogue Valley Area Commission on Transportation will hear proposals from Bear Creek Greenway officials and others at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 8, at the Jackson County Parks Auditorium, 7520 Table Rock Road, White City.

One proposal is to build ramps connecting the Bear Creek Greenway to Highway 62 near Target and Red Lobster in Medford. The Greenway currently passes under the highway at that spot. Ramps on the north and south sides would cost $501,000.

"There's no way to get from the trail up to the highway itself," said Jenna Stanke, Jackson County special projects manager.

Greenway users have cut the fences to get up to the highway several times.

"As soon as they're repaired, they get cut again," Stanke said.

The project would kick off in 2016 at the earliest, she said.

Another proposal asks for $450,000 for preliminary engineering and right-of-way acquisition for a new 2.5-mile stretch of the Rogue River Greenway. The greenway runs from the Depot Street Bridge in the city of Rogue River and through Valley of the Rogue State Park to Twin Bridges Road.

The new stretch would run along North River Road from Twin Bridges east to a short segment already complete near Del Rio Vineyards outside Gold Hill.

"Basically, it's getting the project ready to go," said Stanke, who added that additional money would be needed for construction.

Other projects to be discussed at the meeting will include additional truck-climbing lanes on Interstate 5 north of Grants Pass and improvements on Lozier Lane in Medford.

The $7.5 million project on Lozier Lane involves a stretch about eight-tenths of a mile long between Main Street and West Stewart Avenue. The project would add sidewalks, curbs, gutters, storm drains and a center continuous turn lane. County officials said they have raised about 90 percent of the money needed to proceed.

The stretch was the site of a hit-and-run accident that severely injured three teenagers in September 2012.

"If you go out there anytime, you'll see walkers or bikers in the travel lane because there's nowhere else to be," said county engineer Mike Kuntz.

Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or

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