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MailTribune.com
  • Temporary Phoenix exit to open Tuesday

  • PHOENIX — A temporary southbound off-ramp will open to traffic early Tuesday, July 1, at exit 24, the Phoenix exit, during ongoing construction work for the Oregon Department of Transportation's Fern Valley Interchange project.
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  • PHOENIX — A temporary southbound off-ramp will open to traffic early Tuesday, July 1, at exit 24, the Phoenix exit, during ongoing construction work for the Oregon Department of Transportation's Fern Valley Interchange project.
    The existing off-ramp will close. While construction on the $72 million diverging diamond interchange continues, southbound motorists using the off-ramp will see a 20 mph speed sign. An ODOT graphic shows the off-ramp will travel beneath the overpass then curve to the right to a traffic signal on Fern Valley Road. There will be rumble strips added to alert motorists to slow down.
    "This won't be business as usual," ODOT project manager Tim Fletcher said in a news release.
    A temporary roadway will open west of the I-5 bridge, while Hamilton Construction out of Springfield rebuilds Fern Valley Road between its Luman Road intersection and I-5.
    The exit's temporary southbound on-ramp opened earlier this month.
    The diverging diamond interchange has an estimated completion date of September 2016. ODOT officials say it will be the first of its kind in Oregon.
    In a diverging interchange, vehicles approach the overpass in the right lane, which allows a free right turn onto the freeway. The lanes cross, allowing a free left turn onto the freeway headed the opposite direction, then cross back to put vehicles in the usual right-hand lanes as they continue on the road.
    ODOT officials are urging motorists to observe the 50 mph zones leading up to the construction, where traffic fines are doubled regardless of whether construction workers are present.
    Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or rpfeil@mailtribune.com. Follow him at www.twitter.com/ryanpfeil.
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