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Hwy. 99 work from Ashland to Phoenix about to start

From Ashland north through Talent and Phoenix, South Pacific Highway is "washboarded,” i.e. completely full of holes, making the drive very, very uncomfortable. How and/or when will it be repaved?

— Curt K., Medford

Curt, your question is timely. Oregon Department of Transportation is scheduled to begin repaving and restriping Highway 99 from the Talent city limits to Ashland later this summer.

ODOT generally aims to resurface the road every 10 to 15 years, explained spokesman Jared Castle.

The project, which is estimated to cost about $5.4 million, will carry over into next spring and summer.

Besides resurfacing the highway, the first phase will include converting the highway into three lanes with a center turn lane (except for the section between South Valley View Road and Jackson Road, which is already five lanes), adding bike lanes, relocating utilities across the highway between Rapp and Creel roads in Talent, and constructing new sidewalks south of South Valley View Road.

The second phase of the project, which is scheduled for next year and is offset by about $400,000 from the city of Talent, will be to improve the highway between Rapp Road and Creel Road by adding new curbs, gutters, sidewalks, bike lanes and driveways.

Curt, most of the construction will take place during the night after 8 p.m. and will not occur over holidays, such as the Fourth of July and Labor Day, when traffic volume increases, Castle said.

Bicyclists who regularly use the highway should consider using the Bear Creek Greenway instead as there could be more debris than usual on the shoulder during active construction, he added.

For more information about the project and the timeline, see www.odotmovingahead.com/2017/05/oregon-99-improvements-from-talent-to-ashland/.

— 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.