REDMOND, OR -- Oregon’s Department of Transportation is working to clear urban highways narrowed by last week’s storm, just in time for another system expected Tuesday night. ODOT's Peter Murphy says crews worked Saturday and Sunday night to clear both lanes of Highway 20 through Bend, which includes Greenwood Avenue and part of Third Street, "After finishing up the snow removal in the Bend area, it’s time to get up on Highway 126, which is Glacier and Highland in Redmond, and do the same up there as we have down here. Obviously, we can’t put all our resources into both streets at the same time. We have to establish priorities."
Tuesday morning, Redmond city crews shut down SW Sixth Street, between Black Butte Blvd. and Forest Ave., from 4 a.m. to 11 a.m. to remove snow that piled up along the downtown street, shoulder and parking spaces.
Murphy says much of the ODOT work is being done by state contractors. "We’ve added some resources to getting this snow off the highway system so we can open up both lanes of travel. That way, we’re keeping the highway as clear as we can, keeping our maintenance people doing the primary job of just simply keeping the highway open." Concentrated snow removal efforts take place between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. and Murphy expects the Redmond project will take two nights. He urges drivers not to park on Highland or Glacier during that time, so plows can make a clean pass.
All that snow from Highway 20 in Bend and Highway 126 in Redmond has to go somewhere. Murphy says they're applying lessons learned during the massive snowfall Central Oregon saw two years ago, "For instance, the snow we are moving is going into a deposit area at the junction of Highway 97 and Highway 20, where there’s a big open space. So, we’re building a little bit of a mountain out there, where we had discovered that it was an opportunity for us to deposit snow for the winter of ’17. We’re now doing the same thing for the winter of ’19."
Photo: Snow berms block bike lanes along Highland Ave., near Highway 97 in Redmond, as seen Tuesday morning on ODOT's traffic camera at the Highway 97/126 junction.