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Since You Asked: Stoplight on North Phoenix Road won't be replaced

As long as we've lived in Medford, there has been a stop light at the corner of North Phoenix Road and where you turn for Home Depot. Recently the light was removed. There is a lot of construction going on in the area in preparation for the new freeway interchange. However, the new roads aren't scheduled to open for at least a year. The reason for the stop light hasn't been eliminated. Do you know why it has been removed so early?

— Gregory H., by email

We do now, Gregory, after checking in with Gary Leaming, spokesman for the Oregon Department of Transportation. He tells us the light was removed for a very practical reason: The footing for the light was in the spot where a new culvert and drain was installed last spring. You may remember that resulted in I-5 being reduced to single lanes both ways for a period of time.

There are no plans to return that light to active duty, and Leaming says traffic seems to be moving fine without it. He also noted the signal in question was placed there when Home Depot was built and was intended to be a temporary signal until the Fern Valley interchange project was completed.

Long term, however, there will be a traffic light at Grove Way and North Phoenix Road, except it will be at a new intersection on the back side of Home Depot, where a new Grove Road will intersect with the rerouted North Phoenix Road.

That connection will also serve another purpose, as a temporary northbound on-ramp that will follow the new Grove Road, passing by the north side of Home Depot before bending north to take traffic onto I-5.

Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@mailtribune.com. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.