PRINEVILLE, OR -- Crook County is moving ahead with plans to construct its first roundabout. A joint meeting between the Prineville City Council, County Court and the Oregon Department of Transportation takes place Tuesday, to help local officials better understand why a roundabout is needed at Tom McCall and Highway 126.
Prineville's City Engineer Eric Klann tells KBND News, "That intersection is currently failing, and this is the intersection the data centers use. If you want to get to Facebook or Apple, this is the intersection you need to go through. So, for economic development, we need to do what we can to fix that intersection so those companies and other companies in our airport industrial park can continue to grow." He adds, "Without a slated improvement, ODOT can put a moratorium on that intersection and we wouldn’t be able to allow any more growth in that area. Which isn’t what we want, we want to grow existing businesses and any other businesses that would like to come to town."
Klann acknowledges some residents have been resistant to the idea, but he says, "There’s been a rash of accidents there. In the last five years, unfortunately, we’ve had eight people leave that intersection in an ambulance so we want to do everything we can to improve it as quickly as possible. And, all the studies we’ve done show a roundabout would be a very safe and cost-effective solution at that spot."
Klann says ODOT has committed to $3.5 million of the $4.5 million project. The roundabout is currently in the design phase and construction is slated to begin in the summer of 2018.
Tuesday's informational meeting begins at 5:15 at Prineville City Hall and is open to the public, although no public testimony will be heard.