Holly Street extension project set for summer

Medford officials plan to connect a quarter-mile missing section of Holly Street from Holmes Avenue to Garfield Street at a cost of up to $2 million this summer.Holly currently stops at Holmes, adjacent to Jefferson Elementary School and the Stewart Meadows Golf Course. Holly picks up again for a quarter-mile stretch just south of Garfield.The project has been on the city's wish list since 1996, when 17 streets were identified as requiring upgrades to improve traffic circulation in Medford.The Holly extension has been particularly difficult because it crosses Crooked Creek and an old irrigation pond."We've only been waiting seven years to get all the environmental permits," said Cory Crebbin, Medford's public works director.The project is designed to provide another north-south connection from Garfield to Stewart Avenue. Since the completion of the south Medford interchange at Interstate 5, Garfield has become an important east-west connection through Medford.Crebbin said the city already has obtained all necessary rights of way for the project.Connecting the two sections of Holly will require 1,900 feet of new roadway, which will run between Jefferson school and Stewart Meadows.Crebbin said the new street will make it easier for children going to school since new sidewalks will be installed.Because Holly isn't considered a main street, it won't have designated bike lanes.In order to get the southern section of Holly to line up with the northern section, the street will make a slight bend, Crebbin said. As a result, construction crews will be working south of Garfield to Dove Lane to make the proper alignment.The city has sent out a request for bids on the project, expecting them back on June 6. The cost range for the project is between $1 million and $2 million, paid for through a surcharge on the street utility fee as well as other fees from new construction.In addition to the roadway and sidewalks, the city will install curbs, gutters, storm drains and street lighting.Crebbin said the city has completed 12 of the 17 projects on its wish list since 1995 and partially completed two other projects. One of the completed projects was the widening of Garfield Street in 2012.Among the projects still on the to-do list is extending Columbus Avenue from McAndrews Road to Sage Road.Reach reporter Damian Mann at 541-776-4476, or email dmann@mailtribune.com.
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