REDMOND, OR -- Left turn lanes are being constructed on Highway 126 near SW 35th Street
, on the west end of Redmond. Access to and from SW 35th north of Highway 126 is closed for several weeks. Detours are in place to divert traffic around the road construction via 27th Street.
The intersection has a history of collisions
, and according to Redmond City Engineer Mike Caccavano, traffic studies showed dedicated turn lanes would be the best short-term solution. "So, there are several developments that are going to be contributing additional traffic to that intersection and the traffic studies indicated that we were already having difficulties with left turns. There'd been a number of accidents over the years and most of them were rear-end collisions caused by people stopping to make a turn."
One of the chief complaints about the intersection is that there's no traffic light, but Caccavano says that's not going to happen, yet. "Both the State and the City go by certain requirements when a traffic signal is warranted and it depends on traffic volumes, the side street volumes. In this case, when there gets to be enough traffic crossing and trying to make left turns off of 35th, that's when we'll meet the requirements and start talking about adding a signal."
Caccavano says additional long-term safety measures in the City's Transportation System Plan include the widening of Highway 126 from SW Rimrock to SW 35th Street. "The very long term is to add more lanes to the Hwy 126, and then potentially a traffic signal at this intersection; that might be a more near-term solution. Whereas, the long-term would be widening the highway and adding more travel lanes from Rimrock to 35th Street."
Drivers should be able to use the intersection again by the end of September.