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Lincoln County Senator calls on Oregon lawmakers to reduce congestion, improve safety on Highway 101

A bridge on US Highway 101. Water is visible under the bridge.
Chris Lehman
The proposed study would cover the section of U.S. Highway 101 between Lincoln City and Coos Bay, including here in Depoe Bay, pictured here in January 2023.

A Lincoln County state lawmaker is asking his colleagues to approve a study examining congestion and safety on U.S. Highway 101 on the section of the route between Lincoln City and Coos Bay.

The Oregon Coast Highway bisects many communities and during high-traffic summer months, it can be dangerous for tourists and locals.

The road has also seen closures from landslides, and other dangerous weather conditions. That was especially apparent during last month’s ice storm and heavy rains, which damaged already vulnerable areas of the highway.

Sen. Dick Anderson, R-Lincoln City, said he’s hoping the state will intervene, starting with a transportation study this legislative session.

"This may not seem to rise to the level of a housing issue,” he said, “or a childcare issue, but it certainly impacts a great many Oregonians and visitors."

He says he plans to use the study’s findings in a request for infrastructure improvements next year.

Senate Bill 1563 has its first hearing on Tuesday evening.

Rebecca Hansen-White joined the KLCC News Department in November, 2023. Her journalism career has included stops at Spokane Public Radio, The Spokesman-Review, and The Columbia Basin Herald.