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Highway 140 roundabout near White City opens

A $3.75 million roundabout on Highway 140 about two miles east of White City has officially opened.

The roundabout is meant to reduce crashes at the site and provide new connections to Atlantic Avenue and Foothill Road. Except for some grass seeding and signage adjustments, the feature is complete, said Oregon Department of Transportation spokesman Gary Leaming.

“(I) watched it shortly after they opened it, and it looked like everything was flowing really well,” Leaming said.

The Foothill Road connection is part of a $6.25 million project intended to provide easier access from the road to the highway. The previous route had been from Foothill Road to Corey Road to Kershaw Road.

A new center median will prevent vehicles from crossing the highway at the nearby intersection of Highway 140 and Kershaw Road. The former highway crossing at that intersection is now closed, and traffic must use either the roundabout “or some other north/south route” while road crews continue working nights for the next week, according to a news release.

“We’re going to have law enforcement out there a little more diligently watching that intersection while they continue to build the changes that are needed out there on Kershaw,” Leaming said.

The roundabout is a key component in a so-called “mega corridor,” which is intended to be an alternative north-south route to Interstate 5, which can be closed down in emergencies. Under the plan, the city of Medford plans to widen Foothill to four lanes between Hillcrest and McAndrews roads, with additional widening between McAndrews and Delta Waters roads.

Reach Mail Tribune web editor Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or rpfeil@rosebudmedia.com.

The new Highway 140 roundabout about two miles east of White City is open. ODOT photo