CORVALLIS, Ore. — Oregon Department of Transportation is planning to improve a busy stretch of Highway 20 between Albany and Corvallis. The area has been the scene of numerous car accidents in recent years.
In 2007, ODOT spent $1.3 million to improve two problem intersections, Highway 20 at Granger Ave. and at Indepence Highway. To make the areas safer, crews installed flashing lights and created red light turn lanes. The fixes, however, made it hard for left turning drivers to see oncoming traffic. As a result, ODOT says, the number of accidents more than tripled at Granger Avenue, from eight to 29.
This summer, ODOT plans to re-stripe the highway at both intersections, giving left-turning vehicles a refuge zone. ODOT may also close the Independence Highway intersection and construct a frontage road to connect it to Granger.
If the immediate fixes do not reduce the number of crashes, ODOT may consider other solutions such as adding a roundabout at Granger Avenue. ODOT says it does not believe adding traffic lights will fix the problem.