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MailTribune.com
  • Too-high interchange plaque thanks city

  • There's what appears to be a commemorative plaque attached about 15 feet up on the northern post of the massive traffic light support structure at the south Medford I-5 interchange. The plaque is visible when stopped at the light at the left turn lane end of the northbound exit ramp, but the printing is so small it can't be r...
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  • There's what appears to be a commemorative plaque attached about 15 feet up on the northern post of the massive traffic light support structure at the south Medford I-5 interchange. The plaque is visible when stopped at the light at the left turn lane end of the northbound exit ramp, but the printing is so small it can't be read from that location. You'd have to stand in the lane of traffic to be close enough to read whatever words of wisdom it confers. Looks very official, and probably expensive. Any idea what it says?
    — Paul W., Ashland
    Paul, good eye. The plaque is Oregon Department of Transportation's official "thank you" to the people and organizations involved in the physical and financial development of the south Medford interchange.
    "We wanted to tip our hat to those involved in the project," said ODOT spokesman Gary Leaming.
    The plaque specifically mentions the City of Medford, the project's Citizens Advisory Committee, U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, Sens. Ron Wyden and Gordon Smith, and Transportation Commissioner Stuart Foster.
    Above the names, it reads "in appreciation for their vision and leadership."
    Leaming said the polished granite plaque was made by Hutchinson Signs & Graphics of Rogue River and cost $995 — a small amount next to the project's $100 million price tag.
    Paul, now that you know what it says, there's no need for you to put your life on the line to read it.
    "The reason it's at that location is because we wanted it visible and secure so it wouldn't get tagged or destroyed," Leaming said. "That's why it's on the vertical at the top of the interchange, out of reach."
    Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by e-mail to youasked@mailtribune.com.
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