Community meeting on June 20 to discuss Territorial Highway improvements at Gillespie Corners

Community meeting on June 20 to discuss Territorial Highway improvements at Gillespie Corners
Posted on 06/10/2019

Neighbors and community members are invited to an informational meeting to learn more about upcoming improvements to Territorial Highway between Gillespie Corners and the town of Lorane. The meeting is Thursday, June 20, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Lorane Grange (80342 Old Lorane Road).

  

Planned improvements to the 5.7 miles between Gillespie Corners and Lorane include providing shoulders, realigning four curves to improve sight distance, replacing deficient culverts and widening bridges, and stabilizing a landslide at Stony Point. The improvement plan reflects community and neighbor input gathered in 2014.

 

“Safety improvements to this section of Territorial have historically had widespread community support,” said Lane County Engineer Peggy Keppler. “Since the tragic death of bicyclist Jane Higdon on that stretch of highway in 2006, we have been looking at opportunities to improve safety and address the overly sharp curves, steep grades and narrow shoulders in the Gillespie Corners area. After years of careful planning, we are ready to begin the first phase of construction next year.”

 

Jurisdiction over the 42-mile stretch of Territorial Highway located within Lane County’s boundaries, with the exception of the portion that is also Highway 36, was transferred to Lane County by the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) earlier this year.

 

While Lane County takes on immediate jurisdiction for Territorial when it comes to ownership and permitting authority, maintenance of the highway will transfer in three phases over the next five years. A detailed map that includes the maintenance transfer phases is available at www.lanecounty.org/territorialhighway.

 

The transfer comes with a funding agreement, the bulk of which will help improve the section at Gillespie Corners. The State will provide a total of $30 million over the next five years. Additionally, the State will make a one-time payment of $2.3 million to assist with the ongoing maintenance of the highway.