Garfield fixup will take at least a year

OK, I know you've said that the city of Medford is planning to fix Garfield Street between Kings Highway and Columbus Avenue, but when is that supposed to happen? As we all know, the famous south Medford interchange leads directly to Garfield and Garfield leads directly to the new South Medford High School. Since a goodly number of eastside kids go to South Medford, will the (really deep) potholes be fixed in time for school?

— Kate L., Medford

Have you checked out alternate routes, Kate? According to Cory Crebbin, the city's public works director, the street project won't be a quick one.

Crebbin says there are actually two projects, both using federal money, and he expects the process — filling out federal and state forms, gathering public comment, holding hearings before the Planning Commission and the City Council — will take about a year.

Once the final approval is given — if it's given — the construction design work can be completed. Once the design work is completed, the actual street work can begin. And that means (brace yourself, Kate) the work might not even be done in time for the start of school in 2011.

The good news is that, assuming the project goes forward, the street will see major improvements. It's now a narrow lane with no sidewalks, and for about half a block resembles a bombed-out war zone. We passed by there the other day and swore we saw a Mini Cooper stuck at the bottom of one of the potholes.

The city will improve Garfield to full city standards, while the Medford School District has agreed to improve another nearby street —- Diamond — with a bike lane, park strip and sidewalk on the north side.

But until that happy day comes, Kate, you might want to consider an alternate route — or you could drive a big honkin' four-wheel-drive to make your way through the war zone.

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by e-mail to We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.

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