REEDSPORT — Road construction through Downtown Reedsport is on schedule to be completed by the end of September, according to the Oregon Department of Transportation.
The current leg of the project has been building curb extensions, adding a center lane for traffic turning left, and installing pedestrian beacons -- a series of lights that flash when someone crosses the road to make the pedestrian more visible; the extensions are being placed at 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th Streets. According to Dan Latham, public information officer for ODOT in Southwestern Oregon, the extensions make it a little safer for pedestrians to cross the street, as well as safety benefits for drivers.
"It lessens the distance pedestrians take to cross," Latham said. "It also has a traffic calming effect; drivers tend to respond more to the road narrowing than paying attention whether there are pedestrians preparing to cross."
Along with the curb extensions, ODOT plans to add bike lanes and stoplights along State Highway 38, between the U.S. Highway 101 junction and 6th Street; they will also be doing grinding and paving on parts of Highway 38 from the U.S. 101 junction to Dean Creek, as well as replacing some of the guardrails.
There has also been construction on parts of U.S. 101. The section between 16th Street and 22nd Street was changed from a four-lane road to three lanes, to allow for a center turn lane and bike lanes going both directions; modifying the traffic signal on 19th street to work with a three-lane road; building curb extensions and adding pedestrian beacons at 20th Street; and replacing damaged asphalt sidewalks on the west side of U.S. 101 between Port Dock Road and 13th Street.
Work began on the projects in June 2018. Around April this year, construction began on the final phase with the curb extensions and center lanes. Latham said the center lane striping and stoplight should be completed and operational by mid-to-late September.
So far, Latham reported there have been only a few hiccups. There were traffic backups during Memorial Day weekend due to adding the center lane; work was also temporarily halted during DuneFest weekend, to avoid issues or delays with traffic.
For more information on the project, go to https://www.oregon.gov/odot/projects/pages/project-details.aspx?project=18869.