During its regular meeting Wednesday, the Roseburg School Board of Directors approved a temporary easement through the Roseburg High School parking lot to make way for construction around Exit 124 off Interstate 5.
The board passed the resolution unanimously after a brief discussion confirming the detour was only for the residents behind the high school.
The Oregon Department of Transportation agreed to pay the district $79,900 in exchange for the temporary easement and a small plot of land required for the West Harvard Avenue exit improvements.
The project includes replacing traffic lights at the I-5 southbound and northbound off-ramps to West Harvard Avenue, which were installed in the 1970s and require frequent maintenance. Additional signage will be installed to improve traffic safety. The area is at vehicle capacity with more than 24,000 vehicles using it each day, according to an estimate by ODOT.
Contractors will be able to bid for the project starting on March 21. The estimated budget will be $2.5 million.
Chief Operations Officer for the district, Cheryl Northam said it’s only going to affect about 24 residents in the neighborhood behind the high school and is not meant to bring heavy traffic through the parking lot.
“It’s going to be in the summer, it’s only for two weeks and we’re being compensated for that,” Northam said. “The idea is, it’s just residents. It’s just for two weeks.”
“Our number one priority is the safety of our kids and their families and these improvements should improve safety around here,” said Roseburg High School Principal Jill Weber.