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Safety Improvements Coming To Highway 126 Near Walton

Lane County’s deadliest stretch of road will be getting some safety improvements soon, and officials hope for additional long-term changes. Work begins soon on the construction on Highway 126 West near Walton.

There were ten deaths in 12 months last year on Highway 126 between Eugene and the coast. In response, Lane County Commissioner Jay Bozievich organized a task force to study how to prevent more accidents.

Bozievich: “Most of the crashes were lane departures. And it was either due to excessive speed or driver distraction.”

Bozievich says what’s needed is more law enforcement and driver education. He says declaring a “safety corridor” might help:

Bozievich: “Traffic fines would double in the corridor. It would be eligible for grant funding for overtime enforcement of things like DUII and speeding. And it would be posted as a safety corridor.”

Bozievich says this summer’s planned construction near Walton will be a “de facto corridor.” They’ll look at how the crash data is affected. He says the repaving and addition of rumble strips will begin after Memorial Day and last about two months.

Karen Richards joined KLCC as a volunteer reporter in 2012, and became a freelance reporter at the station in 2015. In addition to news reporting, she’s contributed to several feature series for the station, earning multiple awards for her reporting.
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