Jefferson Exchange | December 16, 2014 | 8:00
10:10 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Diversity On The Road Ahead

Credit Wikimedia

The work doesn't change much over time, but the workers do. 

The highway signs that once said "men working" are now non-gender specific. 

And with good reason… more women now work on road construction crews. 

In fact, the Institute for Women's Policy Research just recognized Oregon and Maryland for their state laws that push for more women and minorities on the crews. 

Read more
Jefferson Exchange | December 2, 2014 | 8:00
10:10 am
Tue December 2, 2014

Commenting On Transportation Safety

Credit Geoffrey Riley/JPR

Next time you drive through a construction zone, think about how long it takes to move a project from conception to completion. 

And while you're at it, think about the safety considerations that go into the mix. 

ODOT, the Oregon Department of Transportation, has a safety action plan to complement its overall transportation plan. 

And ODOT is taking input on the safety plan at a series of meetings around the state. 

Read more
Jefferson Exchange | November 4, 2014 | 8:30
10:10 am
Tue November 4, 2014

Volunteers Needed For Road-Use Charge Study

How should we pay for highway maintenance: by the gallon, or by the mile?
Credit Ken Lund

Not only do modern cars burn less gasoline, people just drive a little less in Oregon these days. 

Which means less need for new roads, but also less gas tax money to maintain existing roads. 

That's why the Oregon Legislature authorized a large (5000 people) pilot project to see how road usage charges--like per-mile charges--would do in replacing gas taxes. 

Read more
Jefferson Exchange | July 14, 2014 | 8:30
10:10 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Revamping Rogue Valley Highways 99 & 140

Oregon 99 on the north end of Ashland.
Credit Geoffrey Riley/JPR

The roads that are fine for today's traffic could become clogged if no plans are made for future traffic. 

Fortunately, the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) is looking down the road (so to speak) a bit. 

Two of the main highways in the Rogue Valley, Oregon 140 and Oregon 99, are both due for new "corridor plans." 

Read more
Construction Work Ends
1:54 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

I-5 Pinch Point In Rogue Valley Re-opens

All four lanes of Interstate Five between Medford and Ashland are back in service, after three weeks of one-lane-in-each-direction.

A construction project related to the revamping of the Phoenix interchange (exit 24) required the placement of a large-diameter drain pipe under the freeway.  And that required the closing of a lane in each direction, starting in late April.  

Read more
Is Caltrans "out of date"?
4:17 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

NorCal Highway Projects Raise Environmental Concerns

The Smith River, near Crescent City, California
Credit Clinton Steeds via Wikipedia Commons

Recently, an independent review of California’s transportation department Caltrans concluded the agency is stuck in the past. Some activists say several Caltrans projects along the North Coast are examples of the need for reform.

Read more
Jefferson Exchange | December 20, 2013
10:29 am
Fri December 20, 2013

The Effects Of Salting Oregon Roads

Credit Geoffrey Riley/JPR

What's good for driving may not necessarily be good for the vehicle, or the environment.

Salt is commonly used to help road crews get rid of snow and ice in colder climates, but Oregon began using it in recent years, in places like the frequently snowbound Siskiyou Summit. 

Read more
Jefferson Exchange | September 30, 2013
10:30 am
Mon September 30, 2013

Wild And Scenic vs. Straighter and Faster: Smith River & Highways

U.S. Highway 199 on the Smith River in Del Norte County
Credit Graham Hughes/Wild California

The California Department of Transportation--CalTrans--plans to widen portions of highways 197 and 199 in the Smith River Canyon in Del Norte County.

And them's fighting words for environmental groups, which are challenging the widening projects for their potential impacts on the Smith, one of the country's wild and scenic rivers.

Read more
Jefferson Exchange | September 25, 2013
11:41 am
Tue September 24, 2013

On The Road: Rethinking Rest Areas

Credit Ken Lund

"Rest Area 6 Miles Ahead" is a welcome sign to many a traveler in need of a visit to the facilities. 

And after a quick turnaround, you're on the road again.  But can rest areas do more and be more to travelers?   The semi-independent state agency Oregon Travel Experience is betting on a "Yes".  OTE spent the summer assessing the offerings at the state's traveler rest areas and the other amenities it manages, with an eye toward future improvements.  

Read more