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'There just isn't the money to expand the road': Hwy 20 between Corvallis and Albany

The big question in this debate is money. While the ultimate solution would be to expand the highway to 4 lanes, Benton County's public works director said there's no dedicated funding at the Oregon DOT for short term or long term projects on Highway 20.

EUGENE, Ore. - Each day, between 15,000 and 20,000 cars and trucks use Highway 20 between Albany and Corvallis.

"With capacity continuing to increase on this highway, it's just causing more and more traffic to be there," said Josh Wheeler, the Benton County public works director.

That's prompted a Highway 20 safety study between Corvallis and north Albany.

Officials are disturbed that between 2010 and 2014, the roadway had 15 fatal or critical injury crashes.

The study seeks the greatest possible safety improvement for the lowest cost.

"What the consultant is doing is they're looking at: Can we put in rumble strips? Can we put in flashing lights? Should we put in signals? Should we add a right turn lane?" Wheeler said.

The big question in this debate is money. While the ultimate solution would be to expand the highway to 4 lanes, Wheeler said there's no dedicated funding at the Oregon DOT for short term or long term projects on Highway 20.

"In their 20-year projection of funding, that there just isn't the money to expand the road," he said.

Consultants plan to organize a public workshop on the issue this summer.

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