New ramp meters to ease traffic on Beltline

EUGENE, Ore. - Ramp meters are in place and construction is underway to improve the efficiency and safety of the Randy Pape Beltline.

The Oregon Department of Transportation is trying to ease the congestion and prevent wrecks.

"Beltline was designed back in the 60s and it was never intended to have as many as 90,000 vehicles a day traveling on the freeway which its got right now," said Rick Little with the Oregon Department of Transportation.

The ramp meters will regulate how many vehicles enter the highway at one time, mainly during peak hours. Green Acres Road, River Road, River Avenue and Coburg Road on-ramps have the new meters.

"This is a coordinated system that measures the volume and speed of traffic at all times. Both on the Beltline and on the ramps themselves. Depending on the congestion at any given time, the system could fire up or not be needed," Little said.

The $2 million project is a short term improvement. Bigger plans for more significant construction is in the works, but its years away from becoming a reality. ODOT hopes to have the project completed by the end of June and the meters up and running by early July.