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$1 million safety project starts at intersection of highways 62, 140

A $1 million safety improvement project at the intersection of highways 62 and 140 is set to get underway tonight.

Prime contractor Knife River of Central Point will close lanes as necessary between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m., starting tonight. Nighttime construction is set to happen four days a week through October, Oregon Department of Transportation officials said.

The intersection of the two highways is "a known hot spot in the Rogue Valley,”  ODOT Area Manager Art Anderson said in a prepared statement announcing the start of work.

It is the site of frequent rear-end crashes and crashes involving turning vehicles and those that fail to yield, officials said. During a study period between 2007 and 2011, there were 30 crashes at that intersection.

In an effort to improve safety, the project will add new traffic signals, lighting and signalized pedestrian crosswalks to the intersection. The east approach on Highway 140 will be widened for a dedicated left-turn lane, a single through lane and a right-turn lane. The west approach on Leigh Way will be restriped for a dedicated left-turn lane and a shared through and right-turn lane.