Rogue Valley residents who use Foothill Road on Medford’s east side will drive through a construction zone beginning next summer.
A major upgrade to Foothill Road is in store beginning in early spring thanks in part to a federal grant and a partnership between the city of Medford and ODOT. With the main construction less than a year away, there is plenty of work going on behind the scenes developing the 4-mile, multimillion dollar improvement between Hillcrest Drive and Delta Waters Road.
Project design is in its final stages; the city of Medford recently completed the final procurement of more than 60 right of way files; and the utility relocation has started “Expanding infrastructure to meet the needs of our growing city is a top priority for the Medford City Council,” said Medford City Manager Brian Sjothun.
In 2019, Medford received a $15.5 million federal BUILD (Better Utilizing Investment to Leverage Development) grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation. The Foothill Road project was the only BUILD grant recipient in the state. The grant leveraged an additional $32.2 million in transportation funds to expand nearly 4 miles of roadway along the busy Foothill Road/North Phoenix Road corridor.
It will transform a busy two-lane county road first used by horse and buggy to a road with five lanes -two travel lanes in each direction, a center turn lane and sidewalks and bike lanes. Upgrades will improve safety on this dangerous corridor as well as reduce congestion in the area.
The Oregon Department of Transportation is administering the BUILD grant on the city’s behalf. ODOT will also oversee construction administration and inspection of the project for the city.
“This is a critical project for ODOT as is the relationship we have with Medford and Jackson County,” said Rogue Valley Area Manager Jerry Marmon. While the project moves forward in its many moving parts, the goal is to have it set for bid
this coming November. With a contractor on board early in 2023, construction is expected to begin next spring. ODOT’s Rogue Valley inspectors will oversee the construction. “This federal grant opportunity will help meet the needs of increased traffic, accommodate regional growth and create job opportunities in the area,” said Siothun. “Additionally, this multi-year project wouldn’t be possible without the support and participation of Jackson County, the Rogue Valley Transit District and ODOT.”
Courtesy of ODOT