Tag: Territorial Highway Project

Sweet Lorane Community News, June 25, 2020

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
June 25, 2020
By Pat Edwards

Beginning 06-24-2020

Drivers coming to and leaving Lorane to the north will need to plan for a little extra time these days. The Lane County Territorial Highway Project has finally begun in earnest and Phase One—the realignment and straightening of the curves at Stony Point (also spelled “Stoney Point”), about 3 miles north of town, is expected to continue through the summer and into the fall.

The entire project involves the stretch of Territorial Highway lying between Gillespie Corners and the community of Lorane and will be done in four phases over the next 3 years. Stony Point is the most critical and urgent part of the project, so it comes first.

Historically, early roads in the area, built by the first white settlers, usually traversed the sides of foothills. This was done because of the better drain-off on the hillsides during wet weather. Since gravel was not used until later years, the dirt roads in the flat lands became quagmires during rainy periods and dusty in the summer.

The Stony Point section of Territorial Road took a different route before 1920. As the original road started to ascend, its route cut farther east and went through the properties at the top of the hill and came out just south of the entrance to Territorial Lane where it continued on to Lorane as it does today.

Stony Point’s current route, climbs the hill leading into Lorane and has been a series of sharp, sweeping curves. But for several decades now, the road bed on the, then, state-owned highway, began slipping in three places. ODOT would arrive on an increasingly frequent basis to fill it with more gravel and pavement which, in turn, would once again slip off into the field below. The road is narrow and there were no shoulders going around those curves. The fog lines are right on the edges of downhill drop-offs on the west side and steep banks border the east side of the road.

During the last 20 years or so, traffic has been increasing, due to the popularity of our local wineries and access to the shortcut to the southbound I-5 freeway. Territorial Highway has become a popular route for bicyclists, too, so when the State of Oregon agreed to trade the oversight of Territorial Highway to Lane County for Beltline Road in Eugene, the county put a priority on realigning the road for safety’s sake. A large grant was obtained for the project and June 2020 was set for it to begin.

According to Lane County’s Summer 2020 Project Update, Phase One will soften the sharp curves of Stony Point and widen the road with shoulders and guardrails. The road will be stabilized to prevent future landslides and a retaining wall will be installed across the largest slide area. Flexible mesh (geotextile) material will be used to reinforce the soil. The new road will be built on top of the reinforced soil and the retaining wall.
During the construction, one lane of gravel road will be open for “bi-directional” travel and flaggers, pilot cars and temporary traffic signals will be used as needed. Lane County advises that bicyclists use alternative routes as the work zone will be steep and hard to navigate on a bicycle.

The county is hoping that Phase One will be completed by late fall 2020 so that Phase Two, between Gillespie Corners (where Lorane Highway meets Territorial Highway) and Easy Acres Drive, can begin on time next spring or summer in 2021. That section will address the frequent flooding we have during rainy winters that goes over the road as well as softening the curves in that area where accidents are common.

Phase Three, scheduled for 2022, will take out some of the sharp curves between Easy Acres Drive and Hamm Road, at the north end of Stony Point, and all phases will widen the road considerably with generous shoulders.

The final phase will finish up between Stony Point, to the south, and Cottage Grove-Lorane Road in 2023.

For those of you traveling in our area, please be aware that construction will be on-going for quite some time and expect delays. And, most of all… please drive carefully. Help us keep our family, friends and neighbors safe during this time.

Sweet Lorane Community News, April 23, 2020

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
April 23, 2020
By Pat Edwards

Week 6 of the COVID-19 “social distancing” is here and I, for one, am not having a huge problem with it. I am, for the most part, an introvert, anyway. My comfort zone is at home. Jim and I will never be among those seniors who decide to sell their home, store their belongings, uproot their lives, and take off for parts unknown—to see more of the country, experience new and exciting things with the intention of finding a new home when life begins to slow down.

I love to travel and visit places where I’ve never been, especially, but being away for more than 2 weeks at a time is just not for me. I want and need a home base to return to and family close by with which we can continue to share our life and experiences. Jim is the same, so we are very compatible in that way. We are anxious to plan our next vacation—hopefully with other family members who can travel with us, but until then, we are content to let life slow down a bit; take time to notice jobs that need to be done around the house and yard… and do them instead of passing them by, vowing to get them done… sometime.

I sympathize with those who are much more social than we are—the ones who are champing at the bit to resume get-togethers and activities without worrying about that 6-foot spacing required by social distancing. It has to be hard to be confined to the house when, until only recently, it has only been a place where they mainly sleep and sometimes eat each day. Am I wrong? Or does it seem that some of the younger generation don’t have a real sense of “home.” Their jobs and their social activities take up most of their time away from where they live. I’ve also noticed, too, that many more of that same generation are exploring the important role that the concept of “home” can play in their lives. I love seeing and reading about them learning to bake bread, plant gardens, can produce and work and create beautiful things with their hands and hearts. My hope is that this experience of “staying home” will show the others how special “home” can be in our lives if we allow it.

We were able to take a mini-trip today while still social-distancing ourselves from others. Our daughter, Gloria, came by and picked us up to take us with her to Roseburg to deliver a 5th birthday gift to our sweet Harper Lorane Furlong… our oldest great-granddaughter. We first made a side-trip through Wildlife Safari where the beautiful animals were all out and fairly close to the cars as they went by. The sun was out, the grass was a vivid green and our spirits soared. We then dropped off the gift to Harper and were able to talk and throw kisses to her and her sisters out the car window until it was time to leave. I miss those hugs, but seeing them that way was much better than not seeing them at all.

Lil Thompson shared how Lorane residents are able to attend church on Sundays while social-distancing themselves… “Our lovely community enjoyed another wonderfully uplifting service at Lorane Christian Church’s drive-in service on Sunday.” Those wishing to attend this 10 a.m. service, drive their cars into the parking lot and turn on a designated FM station to listen to the church services being broadcast. They sing the hymns together and pray together within the confines of their respective cars. We’ve all learned to be creative while staying safe.

I wanted to alert everyone who drives Territorial towards Lorane to be extra cautious as they traverse the curves at Stony Point, north of Lorane. Trees have been cut and the drop-offs along that already narrow road are severe as they prepare to begin the rerouting of the road and eliminate the sharp curves in that area. The actual road construction is not due to begin until July 1, but the county is planning to widen the road enough where the trees have been removed and provide a barrier in order to make it safer to drive during the interim.

They have also canceled the meeting set for May 19 at the Lorane Grange to go over the construction plans for this year. It will be rescheduled once the COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted.

Above all, stay safe and drive with caution, everyone.

Sweet Lorane Community News, November 14, 2019

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
November 14, 2019
By Pat Edwards

Me on swing on Orchard St EugeneIt’s amazing how fast the holidays are approaching. Each year, the time seems to go faster and faster. Thinking back to my youth, it seemed as though the days, weeks and years, kept at a leisurely pace. There was time to go to school, do chores, spend some fun time outdoors and still have time left over for lazing around in the sun on summer days or lying on the bed, reading a good book during the days of inclement weather. I don’t ever remember being bored, but life was unhurried and much simpler then.

These days, it’s easy to cram useless time into our days—on the computer or with cell phone in hand. I’m as guilty of it as anyone. A lot of my work is done on the computer, but when I need to take a break from reading and editing manuscripts or designing layouts for books, I begin scrolling through Facebook or getting current with email correspondence instead of giving my mind a rest.

With the decreased energy level brought on by advanced years, I’m not as inclined to go outside and provide my body with some much-needed exercise in the fresh air as I know that I should. Instead I pack my calendar with schedules and events and “things to do,” leaving little for leisure time that can stretch out my days a bit. Each day is filled with trips to town to do errands and go to appointments instead of taking a Sunday drive, just for the fun of it; or short overnight trips to the coast or mountains. I’m missing the quiet times when I can read the stack of books for pleasure-reading I have waiting for me. I take yoga classes instead of accomplishing the same goals by heading out to pull weeds and prepare my flower beds for winter or stacking the fallen limbs lying in our pasture on a burn-pile. I eventually get those chores done, anyway, but the jobs are usually much bigger than if I went out each day and did them a little at a time.

Entrance

Speaking of yardwork, those of you who drive past Easy Acres Drive on Territorial may notice that the flower beds at the entrance to the Easy Acres neighborhood have been tilled up and are awaiting new plantings. Our neighborhood group is joining together to once again make it into a welcoming entrance since I lost the battle with the weeds and grass a few years ago. We will soon have it ready to bloom next spring. We’re not going to put permanent plantings in right now, however. Once the Territorial Highway project begins on that section, most likely it will all be dug up and moved by the county. The plans are not concrete yet, but the county has warned us not to plant anything we are sentimentally attached to.

A lot of holiday bazaars are scheduled for the coming weeks. I usually share a booth with my author/colleague, Joe Blakely, each year at the Holiday Market at the Lane County Fairgrounds, but we have decided to forego it this year. So, I’ve signed up for the Fern Ridge Holiday Bazaar on Friday and Saturday, November 22 and 23. My table will be at the Elmira Elementary School and I’ll have all of my books and this year’s Groundwaters Anthology on display. I participated in one at the Creswell Grange a couple of weeks ago and it was fun talking to everyone. I hope that many of you will stop by and say “hi.”

Don’t forget to add your non-perishable foods to the food boxes that are provided at the area granges and stores for those in need during this holiday season. And, be sure to attend the community Thanksgiving dinners provided by the Lorane Christian Church at the Lorane Grange (Sunday, November 17 at 5:00 p.m.) and the potluck in Crow hosted by the Crow Grange (Thursday, November 21 at 6:30 p.m.). They are great ways to meet your new neighbors and catch up on what’s happening in your neighborhoods.