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MailTribune.com
  • Paving projects will change Medford streets

  • Motorists should prepare to face a slew of projects in Medford from Saturday to Tuesday as workers lay down a slurry seal on major roadways, causing some traffic delays.
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  • Motorists should prepare to face a slew of projects in Medford from Saturday to Tuesday as workers lay down a slurry seal on major roadways, causing some traffic delays.
    When the work is done, drivers will see some major changes on one well-traveled street.
    Transportation officials encourage motorists to find alternate routes for sections of East McAndrews Road, East Main Street and 14th Street.
    On Monday, Intermountain Slurry Seal crews will lay down a thin layer of asphalt, known as micro-surfacing or slurry seal, on East Main Street from Willamette Avenue to East 8th Street.
    The East Main work is part of a project that will eliminate two traffic lanes, while adding bike lanes and a center turn lane on a street that serves as a major connector between downtown and residential areas on the city's east side.
    A new traffic light that includes a left-turn signal has been installed at East Main's intersection with Hawthorne and Almond streets. After the roadway is resurfaced, the current four traffic lanes will be reduced to two from that area east to Willamette Avenue.
    Ashland has experimented with a similar so-called "road diet" on a portion of North Main Street, which so far has resulted in fewer accidents.
    Public works officials say the changes to East Main in Medford will make it safer not only for drivers, but also for pedestrians. Currently, sidewalks are immediately adjacent to the outside lanes of traffic on the four-lane street. With the installation of the bike lanes, vehicles will be farther away from sidewalks.
    Studies by traffic engineers have concluded that roads with two travel lanes and a dedicated turn lane can carry as much or more traffic and do it more safely.
    The city previously had made similar changes to Fourth and 10th streets.
    From Saturday to Monday, crews also will put a thin layer of asphalt on East McAndrews Road from Brookdale Avenue to Hillcrest Road. On Monday, crews will put a slurry seal on West 14th Street from King to Newtown streets.
    Work on all the projects will take place between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m.
    City officials say motorists should expect delays and seek alternate routes and parking during the construction. Flaggers may direct traffic at times.
    — Damian Mann
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