Charleston Crosswalk

A crew with Brock Construction works Nov.20 on a new crosswalk along Cape Arago Highway in Charleston.

CHARLESTON — The Charleston Merchants Association has been asking the Coos County Commissioners to improve safety for pedestrians in Charleston for some time and now the Oregon Department of Transportation is working to make those improvements.

West of Boat Basin Road in Charleston, ODOT is in the process of providing the town with a new crosswalk and sidewalk for pedestrians.

Nick Tilley with Brock Construction works Nov.20 finishing concrete on a new island and new crosswalk along Cape Arago Highway in Charleston.

“We are in the process of installing a crosswalk across Cape Arago Highway,” Dan Latham with ODOT said. “When they’re done with that there are going to be two pedestrian islands, one on each side, and there’s also going to be a speed reading board.”

The speed reading board will measure the speed of oncoming traffic and flash at motorists when they are driving above the posted 35 mile per hour speed limit. Speed feedback signs will cost approximately $16,000, with ODOT Region 3 Maintenance and Coos County splitting the cost.

The total cost for the crosswalks and islands is approximately $75,000. The money comes from ODOT Region 3 Sidwewalk Improvement Program. 

According to Latham, there has been many reports of excessive speeding on that stretch of Cape Arago Highway.

Latham said that the project will likely be completed in the next week or so weather permitting. Construction for the project began back in October. 

A crew with Brock Construction works Nov.20 on a new crosswalk along Cape Arago Highway in Charleston.

Coos County Commissioner Mellissa Cribbins is excited about the ODOT project, as the Board of Commissioners has received several comments regarding pedestrian safety in Charleston.

“It’s hard to create a tourist attraction area if people don’t feel safe crossing the road,” Cribbins said.

According to Cribbins the county has recently improved pedestrian safety on Boat Basin Road, paving new sidewalks leading up to the marina.

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Nicholas A. Johnson can be reached at 541-266-6049, or by email at nicholas.johnson@theworldlink.com.