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Author Topic: SR 62 Crater Lake Highway expressway  (Read 7632 times)

nexus73

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SR 62 Crater Lake Highway expressway
« on: May 26, 2016, 06:36:58 PM »

https://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/REGION3/Pages/hwy62_index.aspx

Back in the last decade, ODOT had discussed a SR 62 project.  Since the daily traffic count is higher on SR 62 than on I-5, I sent ODOT an email asking for I-905.  Today I found this ODOT posting and although there is no Interstate designation, this new road, which will be about 4 1/2 miles long, despite being called an expressway, is more akin to the freeway idea I had proposed.  Groundbreaking took place this month and the project is due for completion sometime in 2019.

Rick
« Last Edit: May 27, 2016, 06:15:49 AM by Bickendan »
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Re: SR 62 Crater Lake Highway expressway
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2016, 07:06:40 PM »

Huh, no intersections on the planned alignment...ODOT should name it the Walmart Bypass Highway.

To get it to interstate specs though they'd have to do a lot of work on the stretch between I-5 and where the expressway will peel off, and it doesn't look like that's in the works.  I'm glad ODOT is actually building some bypasses though.

Out of curiosity, why I-905? 
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Re: SR 62 Crater Lake Highway expressway
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2016, 10:29:07 PM »

Had a good look at the corridor a couple weeks back traveling through down from Crater Lake to Jacksonville.  This has been way overdue for Medford for a long time, 62 is a disaster trying to get through the city.  It will be very much welcome being able to get around all those 35 MPH zones and traffic lights in the future years....
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nexus73

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Re: SR 62 Crater Lake Highway expressway
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2016, 11:04:15 PM »

Huh, no intersections on the planned alignment...ODOT should name it the Walmart Bypass Highway.

To get it to interstate specs though they'd have to do a lot of work on the stretch between I-5 and where the expressway will peel off, and it doesn't look like that's in the works.  I'm glad ODOT is actually building some bypasses though.

Out of curiosity, why I-905? 

Because I-105, 205, 305, 405 and 505 were already assigned to routes in Oregon.  Some were built, some were not.  Since no Interstate spur in Oregon is needed south of Medford, I-905 fills the bill.

If you really had read the posting you would have seen the map showing two interchanges over the course of the proposed route.  How did you miss that?

Rick
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Re: SR 62 Crater Lake Highway expressway
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2016, 11:46:56 PM »

Huh, no intersections on the planned alignment...ODOT should name it the Walmart Bypass Highway.

To get it to interstate specs though they'd have to do a lot of work on the stretch between I-5 and where the expressway will peel off, and it doesn't look like that's in the works.  I'm glad ODOT is actually building some bypasses though.

Out of curiosity, why I-905? 

Because I-105, 205, 305, 405 and 505 were already assigned to routes in Oregon.  Some were built, some were not.  Since no Interstate spur in Oregon is needed south of Medford, I-905 fills the bill.

If you really had read the posting you would have seen the map showing two interchanges over the course of the proposed route.  How did you miss that?

Rick
If you really had read the map you would have seen the map showing two overpasses over the course of the proposed route, but no interchanges.  How did you miss that?

Steve

Bickendan

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Re: SR 62 Crater Lake Highway expressway
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2016, 06:15:16 AM »

I've been following this project for a couple years, and there weren't any interchanges on the bypass row planned.
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nexus73

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Re: SR 62 Crater Lake Highway expressway
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2016, 10:57:36 AM »

That map sure had what looked like interchanges to me!

Rick

P.S.  Ah, now I see said the blind man...LOL!  Their damned print is so small it took a lot for my eyes to see the "OVERPASS" label.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2016, 11:07:22 AM by nexus73 »
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Re: SR 62 Crater Lake Highway expressway
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2016, 12:40:48 AM »

Hopefully the direct link of the map will help make the "small print" easier to read than it did on the ODOT SR 62 page...

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nexus73

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Re: SR 62 Crater Lake Highway expressway
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2016, 11:20:30 AM »

The overpass locations look prime for interchanges ya' think?  Might as well open up some more land for development!

Rick
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Re: SR 62 Crater Lake Highway expressway
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2016, 08:31:50 PM »

Bumping this thread:

The overpass locations look prime for interchanges ya' think?  Might as well open up some more land for development!

According to the project's Executive Summary, there are interchanges planned for the long term. From page 4:

Quote
[T]he proposed bypass would extend from the existing OR 62 interchange with I-5 in Medford to approximately Dutton Road north of White City. About one-half of the length of the bypass would be within the Medford Urban Growth Boundary (UGB). The proposed project includes four interchanges:
  • A southern terminus interchange with either I 5 or existing OR 62
  • An interchange with Vilas Road, about 3 miles north of I-5
  • An interchange with existing OR 62 on the south side of White City, about 5 miles
    north of I-5
  • A northern terminus interchange with existing OR 62 near Dutton Road

There were two build alternatives and a no-build option. From page 5:

Quote
There are two build alternatives, both featuring a four-lane, access-controlled bypass between the existing OR 62 interchange with I-5 in Medford and approximately Dutton Road north of White City. ... The alternatives are different at the bypass’s southern terminus near I-5. North of Delta Waters Road to Commerce Drive, the alternatives follow a similar, but not identical, alignment. North of Commerce Drive, the build alternatives are identical. Between Vilas Road and the interchange on the south side of White City, there are three potential alignments, called Design Options A, B, and C. Both alternatives include the four interchanges listed above.

Obviously one of the build options was picked -- still reading to figure out exactly which. We're currently in the JTA (Jobs and Transportation Act) phase, a.k.a. Phase 1, which will itself be built in two segments. Segment 1 is what's under construction now, from the southern interchange to "south of Vilas Rd.". From page 41:

Quote
The JTA phase is the first construction phase under either alternative and will be a four-lane, access-controlled bypass extending north from near I 5 and include grade separation with free-flowing movements at the southern terminus. The JTA phase will extend only to the southern boundary of White City, where it will connect to existing OR 62 at an intersection rather than an interchange. There will be no interchange at Vilas Road. Instead, the bypass will cross Vilas Road on an overpass.

So there will be an interchange at Vilas eventually, just not yet. Given how quick ODOT acts on fully building these bypasses, I fully expect the entire 7-mile bypass to be completed sometime around... 2045.  :-D
« Last Edit: October 02, 2016, 08:34:24 PM by JasonOfORoads »
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Re: SR 62 Crater Lake Highway expressway
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2019, 12:12:41 PM »

Bumping this to note that the highway, now called the "Rogue Valley Expressway," opened last month.

https://mailtribune.com/news/top-stories/rogue-valley-expressway-open-for-business

Quote
After three years of work and planning, the $120 million highway project meant to relieve congestion on Highway 62 is open for business.

The Oregon Department of Transportation announced the opening of the 4.5-mile Oregon 62 Rogue Valley Expressway just after midnight Wednesday in a concise email that said the thoroughfare is “open to traffic.” The four-lane highway starts by Poplar Drive in Medford and continues to White City near Corey Road.


(more photos at the link)

I was in the area last week and just happened to end up on the new highway, and then I realized there had been posts about it here way-back-when. It was, to me at least, underwhelming. The 55mph speed limit is, well, Oregon-silly. And traveling southbound (westbound), the "expressway" collapses to just one lane as it merges back onto old SR 62, before it reaches I-5, meaning there's still a nasty traffic signal before I-5. And the median is just a narrow strip with a raised barrier -- no room for expansion.

I suppose it does save some time, but I'd just barely call it an "expressway."
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nexus73

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Re: SR 62 Crater Lake Highway expressway
« Reply #11 on: June 16, 2019, 09:27:05 PM »

Bumping this to note that the highway, now called the "Rogue Valley Expressway," opened last month.

https://mailtribune.com/news/top-stories/rogue-valley-expressway-open-for-business

Quote
After three years of work and planning, the $120 million highway project meant to relieve congestion on Highway 62 is open for business.

The Oregon Department of Transportation announced the opening of the 4.5-mile Oregon 62 Rogue Valley Expressway just after midnight Wednesday in a concise email that said the thoroughfare is “open to traffic.” The four-lane highway starts by Poplar Drive in Medford and continues to White City near Corey Road.


(more photos at the link)

I was in the area last week and just happened to end up on the new highway, and then I realized there had been posts about it here way-back-when. It was, to me at least, underwhelming. The 55mph speed limit is, well, Oregon-silly. And traveling southbound (westbound), the "expressway" collapses to just one lane as it merges back onto old SR 62, before it reaches I-5, meaning there's still a nasty traffic signal before I-5. And the median is just a narrow strip with a raised barrier -- no room for expansion.

I suppose it does save some time, but I'd just barely call it an "expressway."

Thank you for the update Kniwit.  This project was supposed to be completed last December.  ODOT does a lousy job with their latest urban expressways with Bend serving as another example.  What should have been I-905 is instead a substandard design despite SR 62 having over 100K+ vehicles a day upon it, which is more than I-5 in Medford. 

Rick
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Re: SR 62 Crater Lake Highway expressway
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2019, 04:11:34 AM »

^^^^^^^^^^
With the US 97/Bend corridor as a preceding example, it appears that ODOT is going out of their way to not build any new facilities that could be construed as actual urban freeways, preferring to characterize them as simple alternates to or bypasses of previous street alignments.  Now -- whether that is intended to preclude objections or criticism emanating from the Portland/Metro area regarding such things -- or simply a matter of frugality -- is a matter of conjecture! 
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Re: SR 62 Crater Lake Highway expressway
« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2019, 10:43:16 AM »

^^^^^^^^^^
With the US 97/Bend corridor as a preceding example, it appears that ODOT is going out of their way to not build any new facilities that could be construed as actual urban freeways, preferring to characterize them as simple alternates to or bypasses of previous street alignments.  Now -- whether that is intended to preclude objections or criticism emanating from the Portland/Metro area regarding such things -- or simply a matter of frugality -- is a matter of conjecture!

   NOTHING government does is based upon any desire for "frugality"! This is 100% about NOT providing adequate facilities that actually facilitate the pleasurable operation of private autos.

   Both this project and the Bend Parkway should have been constructed to a minimum 6 through lanes with the ability for future expansion and to accommodate 70 m.p.h. speeds.
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Re: SR 62 Crater Lake Highway expressway
« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2019, 02:05:03 PM »

^^^^^^^^^^
With the US 97/Bend corridor as a preceding example, it appears that ODOT is going out of their way to not build any new facilities that could be construed as actual urban freeways, preferring to characterize them as simple alternates to or bypasses of previous street alignments.  Now -- whether that is intended to preclude objections or criticism emanating from the Portland/Metro area regarding such things -- or simply a matter of frugality -- is a matter of conjecture!

   NOTHING government does is based upon any desire for "frugality"! This is 100% about NOT providing adequate facilities that actually facilitate the pleasurable operation of private autos.

   Both this project and the Bend Parkway should have been constructed to a minimum 6 through lanes with the ability for future expansion and to accommodate 70 m.p.h. speeds.
At least the Bend parkway can be expanded to 8 lanes with little trouble except in downtown. Getting the interchanges to work however is a different story.

This new expressway I don't know if it can be expanded easily. By Sattilite pictures, it looks like it can be built to 6 lanes but I need to drive on it to be sure.

Edit: The Bend parkway can handle 60 safely, 65 likely, and OR 62 can handle 70 already.
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Re: SR 62 Crater Lake Highway expressway
« Reply #15 on: June 20, 2019, 05:54:12 PM »

The Bend parkway can handle 60 safely, 65 likely

Not without getting rid of the RIROs, bike lanes, and sidewalks. And also the crosswalks and signal at the south end (at least there's only 1 instead of 3). Also, the fact that the crosswalks are not signalized with either a regular signal or a HAWK seems like a recipe for disaster, regardless of the posted speed limit. All that being said, 45 is still way too low, and even without any modifications, I think 55 MPH would be perfectly fine (but not higher). Well, I guess 60 or 65 would be fine in the segment between Revere and US-20 (no crosswalks, no RIROs, no sidewalks, better median), but not south of Revere without changes.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2019, 05:58:59 PM by doorknob60 »
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Re: SR 62 Crater Lake Highway expressway
« Reply #16 on: June 22, 2019, 11:05:42 AM »

The Bend parkway can handle 60 safely, 65 likely

Not without getting rid of the RIROs, bike lanes, and sidewalks. And also the crosswalks and signal at the south end (at least there's only 1 instead of 3). Also, the fact that the crosswalks are not signalized with either a regular signal or a HAWK seems like a recipe for disaster, regardless of the posted speed limit. All that being said, 45 is still way too low, and even without any modifications, I think 55 MPH would be perfectly fine (but not higher). Well, I guess 60 or 65 would be fine in the segment between Revere and US-20 (no crosswalks, no RIROs, no sidewalks, better median), but not south of Revere without changes.
I forget about the unsignalized crosswalks because of the times I've been on that, I've seen no one use it.

SM-J737T

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doorknob60

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Re: SR 62 Crater Lake Highway expressway
« Reply #17 on: June 24, 2019, 05:18:31 PM »

The Bend parkway can handle 60 safely, 65 likely

Not without getting rid of the RIROs, bike lanes, and sidewalks. And also the crosswalks and signal at the south end (at least there's only 1 instead of 3). Also, the fact that the crosswalks are not signalized with either a regular signal or a HAWK seems like a recipe for disaster, regardless of the posted speed limit. All that being said, 45 is still way too low, and even without any modifications, I think 55 MPH would be perfectly fine (but not higher). Well, I guess 60 or 65 would be fine in the segment between Revere and US-20 (no crosswalks, no RIROs, no sidewalks, better median), but not south of Revere without changes.
I forget about the unsignalized crosswalks because of the times I've been on that, I've seen no one use it.

SM-J737T

Yeah I lived there full time for 6 years (and visited occasionally for a couple more), I think I saw people use those crosswalks one or two times total during that entire period.

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Re: SR 62 Crater Lake Highway expressway
« Reply #18 on: July 08, 2019, 03:47:38 PM »

I drove this new route strictly by accident yesterday.

In Medford for the first time in a few years and had to go to a restaurant off Delta Waters.

Plugged in the address into Google Maps and it still shows that no Rogue Valley expressway exists. (I didn't know it was open)

Since I got caught offguard, I followed the expressway route and not the "business route" thinking there would be an exit ramp north of the airport. 

Nope I had to take it all the way to the end and come back south to reach my destination. Added about 10 minutes to the trip, nothing serious.

But there was very little traffic on it. 

I asked some locals and they said it works for people coming and going from Crater Lake getting to I-5, but that 90% of the locals coming into town WANT to reach the retail buildouts, not drive around them,  Unless you are going to OR-99 and Rogue Valley Mall, it doesn't really serve a purpose but to relieve a light at Delta Waters.

FWIW: The route it takes used to be the old Medco lumber railroad ROW that brought the logs down to the Medco lumber mill on the old US-99.  Then Medco ripped out the tracks and turned into a private lumber truck ROW that brought the product.  Then they moved all the milling to White City and it kind of sat there as a part bike trail. The former logging rail yard is Railroad Park. The old Medco HQ and plant property is still being developed with retail around the mall.

In fact most of the industry in that area are just about gone. I noticed the Darigold milk plant is closed now.
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nexus73

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Re: SR 62 Crater Lake Highway expressway
« Reply #19 on: July 08, 2019, 05:57:01 PM »

I drove this new route strictly by accident yesterday.

In Medford for the first time in a few years and had to go to a restaurant off Delta Waters.

Plugged in the address into Google Maps and it still shows that no Rogue Valley expressway exists. (I didn't know it was open)

Since I got caught offguard, I followed the expressway route and not the "business route" thinking there would be an exit ramp north of the airport. 

Nope I had to take it all the way to the end and come back south to reach my destination. Added about 10 minutes to the trip, nothing serious.

But there was very little traffic on it. 

I asked some locals and they said it works for people coming and going from Crater Lake getting to I-5, but that 90% of the locals coming into town WANT to reach the retail buildouts, not drive around them,  Unless you are going to OR-99 and Rogue Valley Mall, it doesn't really serve a purpose but to relieve a light at Delta Waters.

FWIW: The route it takes used to be the old Medco lumber railroad ROW that brought the logs down to the Medco lumber mill on the old US-99.  Then Medco ripped out the tracks and turned into a private lumber truck ROW that brought the product.  Then they moved all the milling to White City and it kind of sat there as a part bike trail. The former logging rail yard is Railroad Park. The old Medco HQ and plant property is still being developed with retail around the mall.

In fact most of the industry in that area are just about gone. I noticed the Darigold milk plant is closed now.

Had ODOT connected this expressway with I-5, then added in interchanges, the route would be used more.  Once again the overly well paid bureaucrats fail to deliver the goods in Oregon.

Rick
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Re: SR 62 Crater Lake Highway expressway
« Reply #20 on: July 08, 2019, 10:08:33 PM »

I drove this new route strictly by accident yesterday.

In Medford for the first time in a few years and had to go to a restaurant off Delta Waters.

Plugged in the address into Google Maps and it still shows that no Rogue Valley expressway exists. (I didn't know it was open)

Since I got caught offguard, I followed the expressway route and not the "business route" thinking there would be an exit ramp north of the airport. 

Nope I had to take it all the way to the end and come back south to reach my destination. Added about 10 minutes to the trip, nothing serious.

But there was very little traffic on it. 

I asked some locals and they said it works for people coming and going from Crater Lake getting to I-5, but that 90% of the locals coming into town WANT to reach the retail buildouts, not drive around them,  Unless you are going to OR-99 and Rogue Valley Mall, it doesn't really serve a purpose but to relieve a light at Delta Waters.

FWIW: The route it takes used to be the old Medco lumber railroad ROW that brought the logs down to the Medco lumber mill on the old US-99.  Then Medco ripped out the tracks and turned into a private lumber truck ROW that brought the product.  Then they moved all the milling to White City and it kind of sat there as a part bike trail. The former logging rail yard is Railroad Park. The old Medco HQ and plant property is still being developed with retail around the mall.

In fact most of the industry in that area are just about gone. I noticed the Darigold milk plant is closed now.

Had ODOT connected this expressway with I-5, then added in interchanges, the route would be used more.  Once again the overly well paid bureaucrats fail to deliver the goods in Oregon.

Rick

As someone who has driven in and around Medford for many years, ODOT has always struggled with that OR-62/I-5/Biddle Road intersection.

The problems started when I-5 was built and they simply curved Biddle Road to the east to accommodate the ramps, which were most definitely non-standard and became dangerous over time.

With so much surrounding retail built up on Biddle by the 1970's the only option by the 1990's was to simply raise OR-62 over Biddle so they could make more room for the ramps off I-5.

Also Biddle is the main feeder to the airport from the south.  They just couldn't terminate Biddle, it had to remain connected so they essentially moved the Biddle access from OR-62 farther east.

If it wasn't for all of that pre-existing retail on the south side of Crater Lake Highway, they could have easily elevated it into an 'expressway'. But I am sure the city fathers didn't want to sacrifice them and asked that the lights at Bullock/Poplar be left intact.
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