Travelers on Eugene’s South Willamette Street will notice some road construction starting the week of July 13. It’s part of the city’s improvement plan for the corridor between 24th and 29th avenues.
This stretch of Willamette used to be a 4-lane road with vehicles traveling north and south, no turn lanes or bike lanes. In 2016, the city added bike lanes and made it into a two lane road with a center lane.
City of Eugene Project Manager Bryan Root called it a “road diet”. “Kept cars from doing what I refer to as a leapfrog.” Root said. “So if you were going south previously, or north, and wanted to turn left, you would back up all the vehicles in that lane. So then cars are starting to leapfrog around and you get a lot of changing lanes and it was just a dangerous situation, so the road diet allows us to get a good volume of cars through and safely.”
Root said the next step is to make the changes permanent. The city is also widening sidewalks and adding lights and trees. Root said the goal is to make it a vibrant urban corridor. The project should be complete by fall 2021.
Copyright 2020 KLCC.