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Highway 62 not ready for traffic yet

Driving along Highway 62 the other day, I was surprised to see how much has been accomplished on the bypass for Highway 62. When it was being designed, I couldn’t imagine how the connections would work. But now it seems pretty obvious where you would turn and where you would go. To me, it looks like much of the work is pretty close to done, so are we going to see it open any time soon?

— Jeff S., Medford

It’s really taking shape, Jeff. It almost feels like you could veer to the left from the existing Highway 62 and zoom all the way to White City in a matter of a few minutes. But for now — and for another six months or more — it remains a do-not-enter zone.

Construction got underway in May 2016, so it’s been just over two years since work began. You’re right, Jeff, at first it didn’t make sense, but everything is coming together.

The $120 million project is being done in two phases, one south of Vilas Road to Highway 62, and the other north of Vilas to Corey Road by White City.

The first phase is pretty complete, with striping already taking place. But none of the bypass will be used until it’s all completed, as there are no exits or on-ramps anywhere along the 4.5-mile stretch from Highway 62 to Corey Road.

There’s still a lot of behind-the-scenes work going on, particularly north of Vilas Road. As a result, the Oregon Department of Transportation estimates it will be early 2019 before traffic will be using the new bypass.

Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@rosebudmedia.com. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.

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