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Highway safety project near Gold Hill kicks off

A highway project meant to improve safety at two crash-prone intersections on Highway 234 is underway.

The $437,000 project will include an electronic warning system intended to alert drivers about vehicles approaching from side roads at the intersections with Antioch and Table Rock roads, according to Oregon Department of Transportation spokesman Gary Leaming. New stop signs on the two county roads, which will be larger and feature flashing red lights, will also be installed.

“These were high on our list for high-crash rural intersections,” Leaming said.

Over the past decade, 29 crashes have been reported at the Highway 234 intersection with Antioch Road, according to ODOT data. No fatalities have resulted, but five of the crashes resulted in severe or “life-changing” injuries, Leaming said. Eight crashes resulted in moderate injuries, with 10 resulting in minor injuries. Six resulted in property damage, but no injuries. Two of the crashes involved children younger than 5.

At the Table Rock Road intersection, 12 crashes were reported, two of which resulted in severe injuries, three resulting in moderate injuries, five with minor injuries, and two with just property damage.

Upgrades to exit 40 off Interstate 5 are also planned. They include three LED streetlights along the northbound on-ramp and an adjustment to the guardrail at the southbound off-ramp, intended to provide better sight distance for drivers pulling into the intersection, officials said.

Knife River Materials out of Central Point will perform the work. The project is scheduled to run through the end of May. Crews will be working from about 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays, with some night work that should run from about 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., Leaming said. Drivers in the area should watch for intermittent lane closures and flag crews.

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