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Central Point on the road to mitigating traffic issues

Just wondering what the city of Central Point (and Costco) plan to do about the traffic problems already abounding around Table Rock Road, Pine Street and Hamrick Road in Central Point. It is becoming more and more of a nightmare in recent months, and will only become much worse when Costco opens up.— Chris G., Central Point

Well, Chris, thankfully our business reporter Greg Stiles has done some extensive work covering the unfolding story of Costco's move to Central Point, so much information about the process and payment of these road improvements is available. But here is a brief summary.The biggest of the projects planned, which is also Jackson County's highest priority to start and finish quickly, is the expansion of Table Rock Road at the southern corner of Biddle Road directly outside of the Costco lot. The road will be opened up to five lanes (two lanes going each direction and a center turn lane) all the way down to Airport Road. Table Rock Road is five lanes already north of Biddle Road. 

The county will open bids from subcontracts next month, and the construction is projected to start in January and take about 10 months to complete.In addition, a traffic signal will be installed where Table Rock and Airport roads meet. Its purpose is to make it easier for people to turn off Table Rock Road and avoid holding up traffic.Both the city of Central Point and Jackson County acknowledge that traffic will be "rough" at first while the construction is happening."We'd just as soon that people stay away from the area until the project is completed," Jackson County Roads Director John Vial said.Another big project, which is being funded jointly by the Oregon Department of Transportation, Central Point and Costco, is a lane addition to the exit 33 ramp off northbound Interstate 5. This can bolster access to Costco from the interstate to alleviate traffic on Table Rock Road. This project is set to begin next summer.In addition to these, Central Point is considering making some modifications to Hamrick Street corners to enable smoother turns and increased traffic flow.So, while the nightmare may not yet be concluded, the plans to bring about an end are in place. For the upcoming construction periods, however, alternative routes are recommended.

— 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.