Rest area ruling could come Wednesday

County commissioners could make a decision Wednesday on a controversial state rest area and welcome center near Ashland.

A public hearing is set at 1:30 p.m. in the auditorium at the county courthouse at 10 S. Oakdale Ave., Medford.

The board of commissioners has held a number of public hearings in recent months on an Oregon Department of Transportation plan to build the $5.5 million to $6.5 million center east of Interstate 5 between mileposts 12 and 13.

The 18-acre project would feature on and off-ramps for northbound travelers. In addition to rest rooms and landscaping the rest stop would include a $2 million lodge-style welcome center funded separately through Travel Oregon and the Oregon Travel Information Council.

No trucks would be allowed at the facility, which would be located at milepost 12.5, just south of Crowson Road in Ashland.

Neighbors have expressed concerns about noise, increased chances of accidents and potential crime.

The board is scheduled to consider a decision on the Wednesday.

— Staff reports

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