Councilors discuss jurisdictional exchange with ODOT
Grants Pass City Councilors during their Tuesday workshop in a joint meeting with the Josephine County Commissioners discussed scheduled modifications to Williams Highway and the possibility of a jurisdictional exchange with the Oregon Department of Transportation.
ODOT Area Manager Art Anderson addressed council about the proposed plan to add a two-way left hand turn lane, curbs, gutter, sidewalk and bike lanes to the area of Williams Highway between New Hope Road and Allenwood Drive. The project costs a total of $4.2 million and ODOT is seeking a contribution from both the City of Grants Pass and Josephine County in order to complete the project. Both councilors and commissioners agreed they would contribute to the project but how much money would be allocated would be voted on during a future meeting.
Anderson also said ODOT is seeking a jurisdictional exchange with the City of Grants Pass and ODOT would pay the city a lump sum at the beginning of the exchange but the city would take over maintenance of the improved section of Williams Highway. Councilor Dan DeYoung said that city residents are the ones who mostly utilize that section of the highway and maybe the city should step up and pay for the maintenance. He said this however would be a difficult decision and would take some discussion. Commissioner Simon Hare and DeYoung both said that although a jurisdictional exchange discussion was warranted it should occur at a later time.
The allocation of money to the Williams Highway project will be added to future council and commissioner agendas.