Fern Ridge Review
Sweet Lorane Community News
October 8, 2020
By Pat Edwards
The Lorane residents who have subscribed to updates from the Lane County Public Works on the Territorial Highway Project received the October newsletter this week. It addresses the very real concerns many of us have for the conditions of driving the Stony Point section, north of Lorane, that was begun early in the summer… especially as it relates to this coming winter. I’d like to share much of that update here as many people outside of the Lorane area use that route to access southbound I-5 and Cottage Grove.
Construction of Phase 1—Stony Point, on Territorial Highway is well underway. The project suffered two weeks of delays due to the recent wildfires and heavy smoke in the area.
Last week, the first contractor completed constructing the tie-back stabilization system, which was the work needed to start stabilizing the slide area. The second contractor is working on the “Big Fill” (aka the new roadway alignment) and will continue to do so for approximately the next 45 days, weather dependent. They are also putting fill on top of the tie-back stabilization system.
Lane County road maintenance crews placed new pavement at the top of the hill and added fresh paint throughout the length of the work area, preparing for winter travel.
Many people have been concerned about the road movement and pavement edge drop-off. Lane County staff and the contractor are working on installing extra safety measures along the existing roadway to ensure safe travel through the construction site.
∙ The new pavement will provide a smooth and water·tight surface over the active slide areas.
∙ The new centerline and fogline paint will help travelers navigate the road as the days get shorter.
∙ In an estimated two weeks, a section of the existing road will be converted to a single lane and controlled by traffic lights.
∙ Reflective delineators will be installed on the inside curve in the area of the tie·back stabilization system.
∙ The contractor will continue to make progress on the roadway realignment as long as the weather holds out. Construction will pause over the winter with the project site left in good condition until construction resumes in the spring.
The original project schedule outline was changed last month when it was decided that Phase 1 (Stony Point) would not be completed in time for Phase 2 (Gillespie Corners to Easy Acres) to begin its scheduled start in 2021. Because of this and the need for more funding, Phase 2, which included plans to rebuild bridges to alleviate winter flooding, and straightening some curves south of Gillespie Corners, has been postponed for an indeterminate amount of time.
Phase 3 (Easy Acres to Hamm Road) and Phase 4 (Stony Point to Lorane) are still on the schedule.
I hope everyone is able to take advantage of the beautiful fall weather that we’ve been having. I think it’s been an attempt at an apology in some form that we’ve been given for all of the trials we have undergone in 2020. We’re not done yet, though… we have the election to get through first.
Hold on, love your family, your neighbors and friends, and pray that, somehow, everything will be able to be sorted out soon through mutual effort and caring for each other.