The new south Medford interchange off-ramp with its narrow s-turn road, multiple pylons, inadequate lighting and lengthy left-turn lane onto Barnett, seems to have been opened prematurely. Were contractors trying to avoid penalties for delays in construction ?

The new south Medford interchange off-ramp with its narrow s-turn road, multiple pylons, inadequate lighting and lengthy left-turn lane onto Barnett, seems to have been opened prematurely. Were contractors trying to avoid penalties for delays in construction ?

— Bob A., Ashland

Bob, we too have weaved through the slalom course of pylons after exiting the interstate at the new off-ramp. We thought it was kind of exciting (OK, we admit it, our lives can be dull — unless you count the paper-clip flipping contests each Friday!)

However, the Oregon Department of Transportation swears there's nothing funny going on with the off-ramp's opening. Wildish Standard Paving, the project's general manager, was not subject to any penalties, but had promised to open the off-ramp on Nov. 17, said ODOT spokesman Gary Leaming.

The company also needs to work on the new northbound on-ramp, so they needed to put the old off-ramp out of commission because it was in the way.

Leaming said construction work is still taking place on the interchange. "Pardon the construction near the roadway, but it is defined by cones and barrels for driver and construction worker safety," he said.

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