BEND, OR -- Several of big road projects are expected to get underway in all parts of Bend, over the next few months. "Collectively, we’re going to be touching about 100 lane miles of the 800 or so lane miles of network that we have in Bend," says City Manager Eric King. "So, a little over 10% is being touched this year, which is on track for where it was last year." The City Council approved several contracts at Wednesday's meeting.
King says the largest will take place throughout the summer, "It’s repaving 47 lane miles of our current system in all parts of town. It’s the largest street preservation contract that we’ve had to date – $4.7 million." It includes work on high-use streets like Third, between Wilson and Badger Road, Mount Washington Drive, between Shelin Park Road and Chandler, and some parts of downtown not treated last summer. They also approved 34 lane miles of slurry seal treatments for low-volume residential streets. "And then, we have two other contracts that are road construction projects. One is a rebuilding of 14th Street on the west side of Bend. And then, the other is an eastside project off of Empire. It’s really beginning to complete the Empire Corridor."
Funding for the preservation work will come from money found during last year's City Council budget exercises. Rebuilding 14th Street and Century Drive, between Donovan and Newport, will be covered by a 2011 General Obligation (G.O.) bond. "There was close to $4 million in project savings and that allowed us to deploy those dollars to complete 14th Street, so that’s being paid for by the G.O. bond," says King. And, the Empire Corridor project (pictured below) is funded with money from System Development Charges, "So, as development’s occurring, that funding source is accumulating funds and we’re able to deploy those on new projects. Our highest priorities right now are both the Empire Corridor, as well as Murphy on the south end, of getting pretty critical east-west connections made."
King says timing for all the work has not yet been confirmed, "The street preservation project, we’ll be working on a detailed schedule; that will happen really throughout the summer, but we want to see that wrapped up in August." He says most of that project will be night work, "The street repaving projects, those are a day or two inconvenience for folks; they’re not large closures like 14th Street where we’re rebuilding a street, doing utility work and those types of things. So, the paving is more of a maintenance-type of activity and it shouldn’t be that disruptive." Work on Empire is expected to begin in the fall.