It was only recently that Rice and his developer, Alan Roodhouse of McMinnville, were able to announce they were dealing with Lowe's.
Then, just when it looked as if the long-awaited deal was a go, it came close to faltering over traffic concerns.
The 21-acre site's proximity to the two key highways concerned engineers with the Oregon Department of Transportation
feared that allowing too many driveways to the site would tangle traffic at the south end of town, and even threaten the viability of the two highways.Rice, however, thought ODOT's first proposal, that the entire site have a single entrance, even more unreasonable.
That gave Rice and Roodhouse
a venue to present traffic engineering studies showing that the site could work with two driveways.
One access would be on Highway 18, across from the Yamhill Education Service District office, and the other on Highway 99W, across from Booth Bend Road.
The ODOT arrangement isn't formal yet, but Rice said Lowe's
is confident enough that it will happen that it signed the purchase and development agreement this week. Lowe's 734
stores are mostly concentrated on the East Coast.But the company is in the midst of a major West Coast expansion.