Due on 34: Protection from bad driving

A median barrier -- concrete or cable -- is being considered for segments of Oregon 34 in Linn County.

Median barriers and rumble strips are being considered for segments of Oregon 34 in Linn County.

Careless drivers and their potential victims will likely get some help in avoiding crashes on the notorious Highway 34 next year, especially between Corvallis and I-5.

The 2015 legislatture authorized $35 million for safety improvements on Oregon 34 and five other highways around the state. And on Aug. 21 in La Grande, the Oregon Transportation Commission will follow up by including the projects in the 2015-2018 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program or STIP.

Lawmakers allocated $3 million for Highway 34, which has a long history of high-speed head-on crashes, among other accidents. The legislature and ODOT hope tro do something about this. "The actual project is still being scoped, or planned," says ODOT spokesman Rick Little. "But here's what we're hoping to accomplish:"

♦ Place center median barriers and centerline rumble strips wherever feasible.

♦ Prioritize installing cable median barrier between Oakville Road and OR 99E interchange with centerline rumble strips on either side of the barrier, where feasible.

♦ Prioritize concrete barrier between Looney Lane and Olsen Road if cable barrier is not feasible.

♦ Place barrier between Seven Mile Lane and Goltra Road.

♦ Coordinate with (Linn) county’s plan to install a signal at 7 Mile Lane.

♦ Make intersection signing and striping improvements at Colorado Lake Road.

♦ Install a traffic separator at Columbus Road and make Columbus a right-in and right-out-only to addresses crashes there.

♦ Coordinate with an existing project to place centerline rumble strips between Peoria Road to Denny School Road.

That's Little's list. The project description before the state commission calls for construction in 2016. More power to them if they can get all that planned and then built next year. (hh)

Interested in all the roads the legislature wanted to make safer for traffic, in HB 5005? Here's the list: (ODOT estimates the cost at $38.3 million, higher than the $35 million lawmakes approved in "general obligated bond funding.")
• U.S. 26: Powell Boulevard 116th -136th, Portland
• Oregon 34 Safety Improvements from Interstate 5 to Corvallis
• Oregon 126: Eugene to Florence Safety Improvement
• Interstate 5 Cable Barrier-Southern Oregon
• U.S. 26: Warm Springs Safety Corridor Project
• Interstate 84 (Pendleton-La Grande) Blue Mountains Snow Zone Safety Improvements

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