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Welcome to the South Stage Road Extension Plan online open house! ODOT is working in partnership with the City of Medford to study options to extend South Stage Road over Interstate 5 and Bear Creek to reduce congestion and improve travel in South Medford and Phoenix. 

Explore the stations below to learn more about the project and provide your feedback to help shape the future of South Stage Road.

Consistent with the requirements of 23 U.S.C. 168, the information on this website may be adopted or incorporated by reference into a future environmental review process to meet the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act.


Learn more about how the South Stage Road Extension Plan will address connectivity and prepare for future growth between South Medford and Phoenix.
Learn more about the project’s Purpose and Needs, which focus the study on transportation problems and needed improvements to the transportation system.
Read more about the project's six draft goals and corresponding objectives. These goals and objectives come from the City of Medford's Transportation System Plan.
Explore areas of congestion, crash locations and other current transportation conditions in the study area.
Learn more about future needs for the transportation system in the study area.
Explore the potential solutions being developed to address issues within the study area.
Please take our survey.

About the Project

Learn more about how the South Stage Road Extension Plan will address connectivity and prepare for future growth between South Medford and Phoenix.  

Project Overview  

Currently, Bear Creek and I-5 limit east-west connectivity between south Medford and north Phoenix. The South Medford interchange currently experiences congestion and it’s expected to worsen in the future. To address this, the South Stage Extension Plan will evaluate potential transportation improvements across I-5 between the Phoenix interchange (Exit 24) and South Medford interchange (Exit 27) to: 

  • Improve east-west connectivity and safety 

  • Reduce congestion and prepare for future growth 

  • Improve emergency response 

  • Improve multimodal connections 

  • Decrease evacuation and recovery times 

  • Reduce travel times 

The project will evaluate transportation system improvements and potential options for a new overpass and/or interchange to reduce congestion at the busy South Medford interchange. A recommended alternative will be identified. The plan will require adoption by the City of Medford and the Oregon Transportation Commission. 

Study Area Map 

Project Schedule 

The project began in summer 2023 and is expected to conclude in late 2024. Your input is important and will help shape the final plan. The schedule below includes the major milestones and opportunities to provide your feedback throughout the project.  

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Purpose and Need

Learn more about the project’s Purpose and Needs, which focus the study on transportation problems and needed improvements to the transportation system.

Please note that this is the draft Purpose and Need Statement which may be refined based on feedback from the public, Project Advisory Committee, Project Development Team, and Project Management Team following the online open house and finalization of the Future Conditions Memorandum. 

No roads cross I-5 and Bear Creek for an approximate three-mile stretch between the Phoenix interchange (at Exit 24) and South Medford interchange (at Exit 27). The lack of local east-west roads forces drivers to make out-of-direction trips, resulting in longer travel times. This puts stress on other area interchanges and local roads, creating backups and safety concerns.  

Purpose: The South Stage Road Extension Plan will recommend improvements to address the following:  

  1. Improve system linkage and east-west multimodal efficiency and connectivity across I-5; 

  2. Provide design year (2045) capacity and access for designated urban development to reduce congestion at and improve emergency response times, evacuation, and recovery via the existing interchanges and local street network accessing those interchanges; and

  3. Safely accommodate all modes associated with current and planned land development in a rapidly urbanizing areas in south Medford, Oregon and north Phoenix, Oregon (which abut one another).  

Current Identified Needs: 

  • Due to the lack of local road connectivity across I-5, travelers must travel to either the Phoenix interchange or the South Medford interchange (via Barnett Road and Garfield Street), resulting in out-of-direction travel and long travel times, increasing economic costs for travelers. For people walking and biking, travel times are even longer.

  • The lack of connectivity can be particularly serious for emergency response times with Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center located along Barnett Road, east of I-5. and due to wildfire-prone areas in the Rogue Valley.  

  • The South Medford interchange is one of the most congested areas in Medford. Because the east-west roads concentrate traffic at the streets that do cross I-5 (Phoenix Road, Garfield Street and Barnett Road), those interchanges, and local street networks, are currently or projected to be over capacity.

  • At the South Medford interchange, congestion is causing a bottleneck with southbound traffic spilling back onto I-5, which is not just a congestion issue, but also a safety concern for potential high-speed, rear-end collisions. 

  • South Stage Road has long been planned as a primary east-west route across the Rogue Valley and it is the only road between the two interchanges that provides east-west connectivity from the City of Jacksonville and other areas within Jackson County to Highway 99.

  • Adopted land use and transportation system plans identify South Stage Road as being needed to support future land development in the south Medford and north Phoenix areas. Without improved connectivity to and from I-5, future congestion, safety conditions, emergency response times (for wildfire, medical, etc.) and travel times will worsen for all modes. 

Read more in Technical Memo: Final Purpose and Need Framework

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Project Goals and Objectives

Read more about the project's six draft goals and corresponding objectives below. These goals and objectives come from the City of Medford's Transportation System Plan.

The transportation system will improve safety for users of all modes of transportation and be a public resource that supports public health in the community.


  • Reduce safety risks to the traveling public.

  • Continue to remove impediments to mobility for vulnerable citizens such as those with disabilities, children and older adults.  

  • Promote active transportation, such as walking and biking, to improving public health.  

The transportation system shall enhance economic development and vitality within the City of Medford and throughout the Region.


  • Provide transportation options that support existing and planned land uses, consistent with the City’s Comprehensive Plan.

  • Maintain and improve the efficiency of the movement of freight and goods.  

  • Strengthen the local freight and logistics network to better withstand natural disasters.  

  • Identify and improve transportation options that support regional tourism.  

  • Support initiatives to redevelop downtown, Liberty Park, and other existing neighborhoods through transportation infrastructure investments.  

Plan transportation options to enhance the livability of the City of Medford’s neighborhoods and business centers.


  • Balance the need for improvements to the transportation system with the need to limit disruptions to existing communities and individual properties.

  • Increase the number of walkable, bikeable, mixed-use and public transit-connected neighborhoods while promoting connectivity to existing neighborhoods.  

Achieve connectivity appropriate for planned land uses in the area for all modes which is well connected to the regional system.


  • Develop and maintain a well-connected transportation system for all users and travel options.

  • Improve access (on or off roadway) for people to walk and bike to public places, especially schools, parks, employment centers and commercial areas.  

  • Improve vehicle, pedestrian, and bicycle network connections with current and planned public transportation routes and improve public transportation service.  

Optimize funding resources so that transportation investments are fiscally sound and economically sustainable.


  • Systematically and regularly plan and predict the need for the acquisition of needed public right-of-way in order to implement the adopted Functional Classification Map.

  • When opportunities arise, deploy new technologies that safely increase the efficiency of existing street facilities to reduce the need for roadway expansion.  

  • Amendments to the land development code and municipal code to implement the Transportation System Plan shall be targeted for completion within 24 months of the final plan’s adoption.  

  • Partner with local jurisdictions, state and federal agencies, and private sector to maximize the City of Medford’s return on transportation investments whenever possible.  

  • Support the development of stable and flexible transportation financing that provides adequate funding sources for the City of Medford’s transportation system while supporting the Transportation Development Plan’s economic development goal.  

Reduce environmental impacts from transportation.


  • Reduce environmental impacts of the transportation infrastructure.

  • Adopt policies designed to reduce per capita Vehicle Miles Traveled, reliance on Single Occupant Vehicle trips, and roadway congestion. 

  • Reduce emissions of atmospheric pollutants including greenhouse gas emissions and particulate matter.  

Learn more: Technical Memo: Goals, Objectives, and Evaluation Criteria

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Current Conditions

Explore areas of congestion, crash locations and other current transportation conditions in the study area.  

Safety Focus Areas 

The following locations currently experience above average crash rates. All other crash rates in the study area are below statewide averages. 

  • Barnett Road/Golf View Drive – exceeds average crash rate 

  • Garfield Street/Center Drive – exceeds critical crash rate relative to study area 

  • Barnett Road/Golf View Drive – exceeds critical crash rate relative to study area 

The ODOT Safety Priority Index System (SPIS) identifies sites along state highways where crash history may warrant further investigation. It identifies locations by considering crash frequency, crash rate and crash severity. Sites identified within the top 5% are investigated by ODOT staff and reported to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The following intersections were identified in the top 15 percent of SPIS scores in the SPIS 2021 list: 

  • OR 99/Stewart Avenue – top 15% 

  • OR 99/Garfield Street – top 15% 

  • I-5/Garfield Street Interchange – top 15% 

Operation Focus Areas 

  • All study intersections meet operating standards under existing conditions with the exception of the I-5/Garfield Street interchange, which experiences traffic volume exceeding ODOT’s standards for the interchange’s relative capacity during the weekday AM peak hour. 

  • All freeway segments operate within standards. 

  • Queues from both the southbound and northbound ramp of the Garfield interchange are reported to back up onto I-5 for portions of the weekday AM peak hour.

Learn more: Technical Memo: Current Conditions.

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Future Conditions

Learn more about future needs for the transportation system in the study area.

To understand future needs for the transportation system in the study area, the project team used population and employment projections for the year 2045 to develop 20-year transportation demand estimates. Technical Memo: Future Conditions documents this estimated demand in the “No-Build” conditions analysis, which shows how the existing system would function in the year 2045. Using that estimated demand, this analysis identifies anticipated transportation needs (gaps and deficiencies) within the study area:

Pedestrian, Bicycle, and Transit Access

The study area has limited bicycle, pedestrian, and transit facilities, particularly east of I-5. Only four pedestrian/bicycle crossing opportunities exist, with a 2.65-mile gap between the Bear Creek Greenway undercrossing and the Phoenix Interchange. This gap is six times greater than desired by the City of Medford code and three times greater than the average spacing of pedestrian/bicycle crossing of I-5 between Central Point and Phoenix.  Transit users have a 2.75-mile gap in east-west crossings of I-5 and Bear Creek.

Freeway Segments, Intersections, and Interchange Ramps

Currently, the South Medford interchange (also known as the I-5/Garfield Street interchange) experiences congestion. Traffic backups occur at the north and southbound ramps at times on weekday mornings, posing safety concerns. The Year 2045 No-Build scenario indicates congestion will exceed current standards at this interchange, along with several other intersections in the study area, including:

  • OR99/Garfield Street

  • OR99/N Phoenix Road/Boltz Road

  • Barnett Road/Black Oak Drive

  • Juanipero Way/Golf View Drive

Out-of-Direction Travel

Motorists on South Stage Road west of OR 99 travel up to 3.8 miles out of their way to reach destinations along N Phoenix Road. Data shows they already travel out of their way between these two roads, which will continue in the Year 2045 No Build scenario, and with longer predicted travel times.

Travel Times

During the peak evening commute, it takes almost 6 minutes to travel between South Stage Road/OR99 and the future intersection of Phoenix Road/South Stage Road via the southern route and almost 14 minutes via the northern route. In the Year 2045 No-Build scenario, the travel time for the southern route is estimated to increase to a little over 7 minutes and to almost 16 minutes for the northern route.

Emergency Response Access

Limited detour options for emergency vehicles can cause congestion and disruptions during emergencies. The lack of alternate routes, together with increased travel times and congestion in the Year 2045 No-Build scenario will lead to increased response times, especially to/from medical providers along the Barnett Road.

Crash History

Several locations experience average or above-average crash rates, including Barnett Road/Golf View Drive, Garfield Street/Center Drive, and intersections at OR 99/Stewart Avenue, OR 99/Garfield Street, and the South Medford interchange. Without mitigation or changes in driver habits, crashes may worsen in these locations in the Year 2045 No-Build scenario.

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Alternative Development

Explore the potential solutions being developed to address issues within the study area.

The next step in this process is to develop potential solutions (alternatives) to address the identified gaps (i.e., a section of roadway without a bike lane or sidewalk) and deficiencies (i.e., a roadway where travelers experience overly long delays or safety issues) within the study area. 

For this effort, the project team identified three overarching scenarios for developing and evaluating specific alternatives:

Existing System Enhancement

Under this scenario, alternatives will be developed that primarily improve existing transportation facilities to address gaps or deficiencies. These alternatives generally do not add new transportation system connections.

South Stage Overpass

This scenario will include alternatives that create a connection across I-5 and Bear Creek between the South Medford and Phoenix interchange (see example Alternative O-1).

I-5/South Stage Interchange

This scenario will include alternatives that create a connection across I-5 and Bear Creek and add a new I-5 interchange between the South Medford and Phoenix interchange (see example Alternative I-1).

To develop specific alternatives under these three scenarios, the project team will take several steps this winter and spring:

  • Assess each scenario to determine if the Purpose and Need and project goals and objectives can be met

  • Determine how the scenarios perform against the year 2045 No-Build conditions, and against each other, to identify which of these scenarios is viable

  • Develop and screen alternatives within viable scenario(s) to identify the most promising ones 

  • Refine and evaluate the most promising alternatives at a more detailed level to ultimately select a preferred alternative

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Provide Your Feedback

Please take our survey. 

Provide Your Feedback 

Thank you for your participation! Please take our survey below. 

Sign up to receive email updates to stay informed of future opportunities to learn more and share your input. Upcoming events include: 

  • Online open house: Jan. 22 to Feb. 5, 2024

  • Virtual public meeting: 6 p.m., Jan. 31, 2024

  • In-person open house: May 8, 2024 

  • Online open house to review the draft plan: Late 2024 

If you have questions, please contact:  

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