As of Tuesday, May 30, 2017
POLK COUNTY — Oregon Department of Transportation is installing a “dynamic warning sign” on Highway 99W at Clow Corner Road with the goal of preventing high-speed crashes.
Installation will finish in early summer, said Lou Torres, an ODOT spokesman, but it doesn’t change the long-term plan of building a roundabout at the intersection.
The warning sign will alert drivers on Highway 99W when cars are entering the intersection from Clow.
“The idea is to get a driver’s attention that a vehicle may be wanting to cross the intersection or turn left,” Torres said. “And, hopefully they will slow down.”
Torres said four dynamic warning signs are being put in on ODOT’s Region 2, which includes the mid-valley area.
The total cost of the four projects is $670,000.
The county and ODOT reached an agreement to build a roundabout at the intersection early this year, ending a long-standing dispute between state and county officials about installing a traffic light at Clow Corner. The sign project was already planned.
Torres said the roundabout project needs more funding before it can begin.
“We have $3.4 million secured for the roundabout, but we will likely need around $5 million to complete project development and construction,” Torres said. “We believe that we should be able to secure the remaining funds.”
Once money is in place, the project will take three to four years to complete. At that time, the dynamic warning signs will be taken down and could be reused at another intersection, Torres said.
“They can be effective for high speed rural intersections like the one at Clow Corner and (Highway) 99W,” he said.