Officials in Medford say an emerging state highway plan for recovering from a major earthquake could keep their region isolated for a lengthy period.
That's because the plan makes a priority of repairs to U.S. Highway 97 through Klamath Falls. That's east of the Cascade Range, where there are fewer bridges and the terrain is flatter.
The Medford Mail Tribune reports that state planners call Highway 97 the "seismic lifeline" through the region to get traffic moving and supplies flowing after "the big one."
Medford officials say that would delay repairs to Interstate 5 through the mountains of Southern Oregon. They say it means they'll have to begin planning such measures as improving the I-5 viaduct through town or an alternate route around the city.