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Highway lane closed as safety precaution

Why is there an eastbound lane closure on Highway 62, just east of the I-5 overpass? It is only about 200 feet long, and does nothing except create a hazardous merge before allowing cars back in to the left lane to turn north? It seems pointless to me.

— Bryan, by email

Bryan, it's just the Oregon Department of Transportation and its contractor looking out for you.

ODOT spokesman Gary Leaming says if the lane wasn't closed, drivers in the eastbound fast lane could have an uncomfortable encounter with the concrete barrier just east of the Poplar-Bullock intersection. The lane jog was created so the contractor could have room to work on the interchange and the new travel lanes on the north side of Highway 62.

Leaming says that once contractor Knife River Materials gets some dry and warmer nights — above 40 degrees — early next year, its workers can pave the few unfinished areas at the Poplar-Bullock intersection and at the Highway 62-Hilton Road ramp near the Comfort Inn. Once that’s complete, the barrier can be moved to the north and put in its permanent location, and the lanes can be opened up.

— 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.