CROOKED RIVER RANCH, OR -- Construction is now underway on a new way to access Crooked River Ranch. More than 2,600 people live in the community of about 10,000 acres.
"Currently, we have one entrance and one exit, both the same two-lane road," CRR Fire Chief Harry Ward tells KBND News. "Last summer, we had paving going on and there were long, long lines of cars waiting a long time to get on and off the Ranch." And, he points out, that was a planned event. "If we had a real incident, and we needed to get resources on and get people off, we might not be able to accomplish that at all because it would be congested, and it would be a mess."
Plans Advance for Second CRR Access Road
Chief Ward says the new route off Quail Road will provide a safer option, especially in an emergency situation, like a wildfire. "If we have two lanes of people going out on the single lane, there's no way for us to get resources on to the Ranch to help us fight the fire. So, this will be a nice, safe way that we can get law enforcement to help exit the citizens of the Ranch that need to be evacuated, as well as bring on resources." He adds, "So, depending on where there might be a wildfire or an urban interface fire where we have to evacuate, we could designate where people go out."
Crews broke ground on the new Quail Road extension last week (pictured) and construction should be complete in October. The project is expected to cost more than $500,000 and will be paid by both Deschutes and Jefferson Counties, as well as through a state loan to be repaid through the Ranch's operating budget.