IRRIGON, Ore. - The Oregon Department of Transportation is hoping to improve pedestrian safety near the Columbia River Highway.
Over the next several weeks, ODOT will be working on construction where the highway crosses Irrigon's First Street.
Crews will extend the concrete curb and sidewalk on both sides of the highway to help define the area as a pedestrian crossing, install rapid flash beacons so people can activate them and signal drivers that they want to cross the road, and upgrade crosswalk pavement markings and signs. There will be shoulder closures and intermittent lane closures, but flaggers will be in the area to direct traffic.
For the last few years ODOT has been working with local communities to improve safety in the area. ODOT says this specific area needs upgrades, because First Street is a designated school crossing and one of the main connectors across U.S. 730. In 2011 and 2012, crews added and several enhancements along a three-mile stretch of highway between Irrigon and Umatilla.