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Section of Peninger Road will be closed for two weeks during construction

CENTRAL POINT — The wait on a complete Bear Creek Greenway is almost over.

During paving work on the trail's final portion, nearby Peninger Road will be closed between the Jackson County Expo's No. 5 gate and Upton Road Monday, Nov. 11 through Friday, Nov. 22, the Jackson County Roads & Parks Department reported.

The nearby Jackson County Expo and Family Fun Center will remain open during the closure. Motorists will be able to access both from Peninger Road if they turn onto it from East Pine Street. Drivers who use the road's closed portion are advised to seek alternate routes to their destination.

Work on the 1.4-mile portion of the Greenway, which will link East Pine Street to Upton Road, started Monday, Nov. 4. Salem-based Oregon Mainline Paving LLC will close to road to build retaining walls along the edge of the Expo's north ponds. The closed section is anticipated to reopen Saturday, Nov. 23, as a one-lane road, with traffic controlled by a temporary signal. Construction on the retaining walls and reconstruction of the road is estimated to continue through Monday, Dec. 23. Delays of five minutes or less are anticipated for motorists in the area during this time, and alternate routes should still be considered.

Upon completion of the Greenway section between Upton Road to East Pine Street, there will be close to 20 miles of continuous Greenway in the Rogue Valley.

"This is a very exciting project for the Rogue Valley community," Jackson County Parks bicycle pedestrian manager Jenna Stanke said in a relesae.

The $1.7 million bicycle, walking and running path will stretch from a site just off Oak Street in Ashland through Talent, Phoenix, Medford and Central Point to the north Central Point exit off Interstate 5. Construction has been ongoing since the 1970s. Jackson County first secured federal funds — which pay for a majority of the project — to fund it in 2010, along with an additional $190,000 in matching local funds.

The full path is expected to be complete and open to the general public by June 30, 2014.

— Ryan Pfeil