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Safety upgrades planned for three Medford elementary school zones

More than $1 million worth of safety upgrades are planned to benefit students who walk or bike to three Medford elementary schools.

The updates, part of the Safe Routes to Schools Project, will target Jefferson, Kennedy and Howard elementary schools, according to the city of Medford and Oregon Department of Transportation. ODOT will reimburse the city $827,200 for the $1.03 million worth of upgrades.

All of the projects will be proposed to be included in the city’s 2021-23 budget. Medford City Council will review the intergovernmental agreements at its May 6 meeting, though Kristina Johnsen, Medford communications manager, called it “a formality”.

Work is expected to start after July 1.

The Jefferson Elementary upgrade involves a rapid flashing beacon at the intersection of Kenyon and Garfield streets that is intended to benefit students who need to cross Garfield Street when walking to school, according to city officials. The $78,000 project will be funded wth $62,400 of ODOT grants and $15,600 from the city, according to documents.

Kennedy Elementary upgrades will help students who cross Delta Waters, Roberts or Springbrook roads en route to class. Rapid flashing lights will be installed at the mid-block school crossing on Delta Waters Road and the intersection of Roberts Road and Keene Way Drive. Sidewalks are also planned for the north side of Bradbury Street between the school and Crater Lake Avenue, and curb ramps, new school crosswalk signs and pavement markings are planned at the intersection of Brookside Drive and Springbrook Road.

ODOT will pay $395,200 of the $494,000 project, with Medford on the hook for $98,800.

The Howard Elementary upgrades are intended for students who cross Table Rock Road. They include filling in sidewalk gaps along Midway Road and the installation of a rapid flashing beacon at the intersection of Midway and Table Rock roads. ODOT will fund $369,600 of the $462,000 project, with Medford paying for $92,400.

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