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Highway 140 roundabout to have partial opening Wednesday

Motorists will be able to take a quick drive through the new Highway 140 roundabout starting Wednesday, but they will be limited to just doing a straight shot through the road feature once they’re there.

The configuration on the $3.75 million project, roughly two miles east of White City, will be in place for the next month or so while contractors continue work on signage and striping on the Atlantic Avenue and Foothill Road legs, according to Oregon Department of Transportation spokesman Gary Leaming.

“You’re doing the short dance into it and then out,” Leaming said. “We’re still about a month away from the full opening, but this will give drivers a flavor of what it’s going to be like.”

Nighttime and early-morning traffic should watch for flaggers and delays up to 20 minutes through early Thursday, allowing road workers from JRT Construction of Oakland to complete transitions from the highway to the roundabout.

Once roundabout work is complete, crews will move east to the Kershaw Road intersection, where it will be modified, with the highway crossing eliminated from the intersection as it is converted into a “right in, right out” turnoff.

The highway roundabout, the sixth of its kind in Oregon, is intended to reduce crashes at the site. It is part of a larger, $6.25 million project that includes a $2.5 million stretch of road that will link the roundabout to Corey Road and provide easier access to Foothill Road. Historically, drivers have had to travel from Foothill to Corey Road to Kershaw Road to get to Highway 140. The new road will open when the roundabout is complete.

The roundabout is a key component in what Medford officials have called a “mega corridor,” an alternative to driving on Interstate 5. City officials plan to widen Foothill to four lanes between Hillcrest and McAndrews Road, and widen the road between McAndrews and Delta Waters.

Reach web editor Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or rpfeil@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @RyanPfeil.