Highway 126W Safety Update:

In early 2015, I convened the Highway 126W Safety Task Force to look into ways to improve the safety of the highway between Eugene and  Mapleton. This was after there had been 10 fatalities in less than 12 months on that stretch of highway. The task force included ODOT, OSP, LCSO, EMS, Veneta, and School District representatives. The review of the past ten years of accident data revealed the most common cause of serious accidents was lane departure. Lane departures were the result of one of three driver behaviors: excessive speed, distracted driving, and impaired driving.

Understanding that lane departure is a major factor, an upcoming paving project was modified to include the addition of rumble strips to warn drivers when they were crossing outside of their lanes. In addition, funds were secured from the legislature to provide for future improvement projects. Below is a list of projects that have been completed or are scheduled for completion in the next few years.

The larger future project of widening the highway between Eugene and Veneta is still in the environmental assessment phase and funding for construction has not been identified. I will continue my efforts along with my partners from the task group to push for full funding of the all of the needed safety improvements along Highway 126W.
 

Completed 126W Projects since 2015:

Project C14955 Region 2 Dynamic Warning Signs

Contractor: North star Electric

Began: 3/6/2017

Complete: 6/29/2017

Included 4 warning sign improvements at various locations, applies to this request because a new dynamic curve warning sign on OR126 @ MP36.05

The following is for the entire project

Construction and CE Budget:      $495,869.00

Total Amount Spent:      $465,701.00

This project has not achieved final acceptance yet.

Project C14901 OR0126 Torrance Road – Cornerstone Drive

Contractor: Wildish Construction

Began: 6/27/2016

Complete: 11/14/2016

MP 37.44 -40.70 (remove/replace striping and add rumble strips only)

MP 40.70 – 47.35 (new paving, shoulders, rumble strips, striping, signs, bridge rail and guardrail upgrades, delineators, recessed reflectors, ADA upgrades @ territorial)

Construction and CE Budget:      $4,327,028.32

Total Amount Spent:      $3,762,379.00

This project was accepted by ODOT on  8/2/2017

Project C14781 OR0126 Chickahominy Cr. To Poterf Creek Section

Contractor: Eugene Sand Construction

Began: 4/21/2015

Complete: 10/1/2015

MP 32.55 – 37.32 (new paving, shoulders, rumble strips, striping, signs, guardrail upgrades, delineators, recessed reflectors)

Construction and CE Budget:      $1,960,844.23

Total Amount Spent:      $1,858,774.29

This project was accepted by ODOT on  5/20/2016

Upcoming 126W Projects that are scheduled and funded:

OR 126 Cornerstone to Terry Street (Veneta to Eugene)

 http://www.oregon.gov/odot/projects/pages/project-details.aspx?project=19743

This project will replace the pavement between Veneta and Eugene, and add safety improvements at several intersections.  The project will occur this summer and travelers should expect lane closures and delays at night, and work zone speed restrictions in the construction area.

·       Grind/inlay and overlay paving of the entire section

·       ADA improvements

·       Traffic safety improvements:

    • Right turn lane at Ellmaker Road (westbound to northbound turn)
    • Two bus pullouts at Ellmaker Road. The south side will be illuminated
    • Two bus pullouts at Green Hill Road, including sidewalks and illumination

·       Minor shoulder widening between Lake Side Drive and Shady Rest Drive

·       Centerline rumble strips. Shoulder rumble strips in locations where appropriate based on shoulder width and proximity to businesses.  There will be no rumble strips in front of Veneta businesses.

This $9.5 million project will begin in Summer 2018 and is expected to last into 2019.

OR 126 Walker Creek – Chickahominy Creek, Walton

http://www.oregon.gov/odot/projects/pages/project-details.aspx?project=19661

This project will build a passing lane west of Walton to help reduce the number of fatal and serious crashes that have occurred in the area.
This $5 million dollar project is scheduled to be constructed in 2019.

OR 126 Florence-Eugene Shoulder Widening Project, Walton

http://www.oregon.gov/odot/projects/pages/project-details.aspx?project=20149This project will add wider shoulders, guardrail, and shoulder rumble strips to a steep portion of Cougar Pass to improve safety.
The $2 million project is scheduled to be constructed in 2019.

Future 126W Projects:

OR 126W: Eugene to Veneta NEPA Study

http://www.oregon.gov/odot/projects/pages/project-details.aspx?project=R2B01

The Highway 126 Fern Ridge Corridor Plan is available on the web page. It is linked under the About section.

The scope of the project is to prepare an alternatives analysis and other environmental documentation as needed to comply with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to develop a concept for widening OR 126W from two to four lanes between Eugene and Veneta. The scope includes developing a preliminary design (30%) for the preferred alternative.

$3 million has been allocated to complete NEPA analysis and documentation work. (estimated cost was $5million)   Work will be done by a consultant. It has not begun.

OR 126W: Eugene to Veneta Southern Bike/Pedestrian Route Alternative

http://highway126.org/

The construction design, permitting and right-of-way acquisition will not begin until the NEPA environment analysis has been completed. Funding for the design phase has not been identified.

OR 126W: Eugene to Veneta Four Lane Preferred Alternative

http://highway126.org/

The construction design, permitting and right-of-way acquisition will not begin until the NEPA environment analysis has been completed. Funding for the design phase has not been identified.

Jake Pelroy