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I-5 interchange work nears the end

When is the northbound exit to Phoenix from Interstate 5 going to open? Those whose exits have detoured into residential, business and farm lands might like to have a celebration. Visually, it looks like the opening could be soon. I hope they aren't waiting for completion of the bridge work over Bear Creek

— Kathy K., by email

Kathy, your question is very timely, but you're going to have to hurry to put together your celebration. That's because the northbound exit from Interstate 5 at Phoenix is supposed to open today, according to Gary Leaming, spokesman for the Oregon Department of Transportation.

Leaming says the exit should be open by midday today, which means work is "effectively finished" on the interchange itself. Some detail work, such as installing the final signs, is still being completed, but the northbound off-ramp should be functional today.

While the interchange itself is all but complete, work on sidewalks and railings continues on the new bridge over Bear Creek, which Leaming said hopefully would be done by the end of the month. He said the contractor, who has a completion deadline of the end of September, also will be paving a portion of Highway 99 as part of the project.

There's more good news, Kathy: The completion of the final off-ramp means that the I-5 speed limit through that area is scheduled to be returned to its normal 65 mph by Friday.

— 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. To see a collection of columns, go to mailtribune.com/youasked. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.