Tag: Territorial Highway Project

Sweet Lorane Community News, April 15, 2021

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
April 15, 2021
By Pat Edwards

Welcome news for parents, teachers and administrators in the Crow-Applegate-Lorane School District was announced last week. Beginning this Monday, April 19, the district will eliminate its A/B hybrid class scheduling, which alternated in-person days for middle and high school (grades 7-12) students. Instead, they will begin in-person morning classes 4 days per week as the elementary grades have been doing since late January. The classes will run from 8:20 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and the afternoons will be devoted to virtual distance instruction by the C-A-L staff with additional support interventions on Fridays.

The success of the in-person classes in the elementary school has allowed our district to be among Lane County’s earliest to come back on an in-person basis. Kudos to the administrators, teachers and staff who have worked so hard to make this happen—safely—for our district’s students.

The construction on the Territorial Highway project has resumed this week. Much of the initial work is taking place off the road. Flaggers have been in place this past week to keep the traffic flowing both ways through the site at a safe speed without delays. We are expecting, however, that as the work progresses, we will need to plan for some delays, up to 15 or 20 minutes in length, at each end.

Thankfully, almost all of our adult family members have gotten at least their first shot of the COVID vaccine or are planning to do so as soon as they are eligible. It’s a good feeling to know that we can venture out a bit even though we continue to wear masks and social distance in public.

A few weekends ago, after getting our 2nd Pfizer injections, Jim and I drove to Florence for a leisurely clam chowder lunch at Mo’s while watching crabbers along the dock pull up their pots to check for their day’s catch. Some, who came up empty or with few legal-sized crabs, threw their old bait out as a treat for the ever-vigilant seagulls and fish before restocking the crab-pot with fresh. It provided the entertainment we have been missing for some time, since Jim is no longer able to walk on the beach as we once loved to do.

On the way home, we ventured into the local casino, masked, after having our temperatures checked, and donated a $20 bill in the non-smoking room before heading home. It was set up with every-other slot machine out of play or with acrylic dividers between players, and attendants patrolling and wiping down those being vacated. We felt quite safe in the environment that was provided.

Now that the sun’s out and the temps are reaching into the high 70s and low 80s, our focus is turning more and more to outside chores and fresh air. I’ve already dealt with a pickup load of bark-o-mulch this spring and we’ll be getting another load this weekend. The birds I wrote about last week are apparently “passing the word” a bit and a few more of their family and friends have begun visiting our feeders.

We live in a beautiful world if we take the time to seek out the positives and stop looking for and dwelling on the negatives. Certainly, we must care—care for the injustices we see around us; for the heartbreaking struggles our country is experiencing. We must try to make a difference in whatever ways we can, but we cannot lose sight of the joys that await us each day if we just take the time to look for them.

If a choice is possible, let us choose to be happy.

Sweet Lorane Community News, April 8, 2021

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
April 8, 2021
By Pat Edwards

So far, one week into the month, April’s showers have been sharing time with some spring sunshine, and it is so welcome. We have been spending time outside, trying to get a handle on the new green grass in our lawn and the prolific weeds that are growing in the flower beds. Both are competing for our attention with the voles and moles that have decided to take up residence and leave their holes and hills where we don’t want them.

A Black-Headed Grosbeak and a Lazuli Bunting at our feeder about 5 years ago.

In addition, I’ve put up my bird feeders to try to tempt the birds to stop by to visit and dine as they come back into the area. Right now, a few house finches, sparrows, juncos and chickadees are sampling the seeds from the feeders and the mourning doves are picking it up off the ground. Soon, the grosbeaks will be arriving as well as the goldfinches, blackbirds, vireos (occasionally), and so many others. For many years, the beautiful, brilliant blue and orange lazuli buntings arrived like clockwork every April to check in at the feeders. They would stay around through the summer until it was time to head south. For some reason, they stopped coming about 4 years ago. Oh, how I miss them.

Another April event is beginning this week. Lane County is set to resume the construction at Stony Point of the Territorial Highway project north of Lorane on April 12. They’re beginning to move in the heavy equipment now. According to Becky Taylor, Senior Transportation Planner with the Lane County Public Works Department:

“The public will be able to travel through the area, but flaggers may delay or hold traffic up to 20 minutes at a time throughout the summer… The public is encouraged to use alternate routes where possible and to travel safely.

“…Due to project costs exceeding available funding, the construction schedule has been adjusted to construct as much of the project as possible with the available funding. As a result, Phase 2 (from Lorane Hwy at Gillespie Corners to Easy Acres) has been pulled from the construction plans until additional funding can be secured.”

Principal Rodemack of the Crow Middle/High School reports that the newly-instituted hybrid schedule at the school is running smoothly. “Our students have been great in following Covid protocols and being safe. This time is so important for us to demonstrate to the state that schools can be safe so that we can return more and more to a normal school setting, especially for next year.”

The volleyball season was quite successful and they are looking towards the beginning of track, softball and baseball. According to Principal Rodemack, however, they have had few students sign up to participate so far. “We need a certain amount of athletes to field a baseball and softball team and we would love to have both of those sports back at Crow. Track also has a strong tradition at Crow, but our team is quite small at the moment. We encourage students to sign up and participate in sports this year. Experience doesn’t matter, and it can truly be amazing to participate and get to be involved with your school. Please come to the front office and let us know if you want to participate.”

The Lorane Grange meets next on Thursday, May 6 at 7:00 p.m. At that time they will set a date for the annual Lorane Grange Cemetery clean-up. The beautiful old cemetery sits at the top of the hill next to King Estate and is maintained by grange members and community members who want to help. Let them know if you are interested.

Happy Spring!

Sweet Lorane Community News, February 18, 2021

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
February 18, 2021
By Pat Edwards

Lane County Department of Public Works photo

The Lane County Public Works Department sent out an update on the multi-year Territorial Highway Project that is taking place north of Lorane. Phase 1 of the project, centering around the major restructuring of the dangerous curves at Stony Point was begun in the summer of 2020. The construction was paused in December and will restart this coming May. They hope to complete the Phase 1 section this summer.

Unfortunately, the Phase 2 segment, planned for Gillespie Corners to Easy Acres Drive, has been put on hold until more funding can be found. It involves the raising of the road that frequently floods during the winter and the building of new bridges along that route.

Phase 3, from Easy Acres Drive to Stony Point, is planned to begin in 2023 and continue into 2024. The interim time will be spent in designing, surveying, collecting data and discussions with property owners on how it will impact each of their properties. The county will also host community discussions in the fall of 2022 about the final design, construction schedules and traffic control in that segment.

Phase 4 involves the segment of Territorial from Stony Point into Lorane and will begin after the completion of Phase 3. A more detailed time schedule for that section will be announced sometime in 2022.

We live along the Phase 2 segment and have put off our plans to put in a new perimeter fence along Territorial until the construction was complete, knowing that the property line will most likely be changed anyway and that any new fencing we put in would have to be moved. Now, it looks like it won’t happen for several years, so I guess we’ll be planning a fence project this spring.

All of us who drive along that stretch are disappointed that the flooding problem won’t be addressed for some time yet. We were really looking forward to having that done. According to the county, however, the initial costs they had factored into that segment have risen drastically in the last year and now exceed what they have on hand. New funding in the form of grants is being sought so that Phase 2 can proceed as soon as possible.

Speaking of flooding, we are so grateful that Mother Nature has been reasonably kind to all of us in Lane County this winter. Not only have we not had any flooding at Gillespie Corners, but we have not had to suffer through the ice storm that hit many parts of Oregon north of us. How well we all remember the snow, ice and power outages of a couple of winters ago. Thank goodness we have not relived those times this winter as others in Albany, Salem and Portland have.

Other parts of the country, in places that are not used to snow and ice, have also been suffering through some really damaging winter weather. Much of Texas has been without power for almost a week because of it. Some good friends live in Helena, Montana. They are used to lots of snow each winter, but this year, Connie wrote: “This past week, our highs have been -7 degrees—and our lows are in the -20 degree range.”

Thank you, Mother Nature, for our “home sweet home.”