TERREBONNE, OR -- A group of Terrebonne business owners and residents are asking the Oregon Department of Transportation to take a second look at their proposal for Highway 97. ODOT says funding is available through the 2017 state transportation package to address congestion in the area by either widening 97 to five lanes or turning 11th street into northbound 97, with the existing highway converting to southbound only.
Land Use Attorney Phil Grillo, with the Save Terrebonne Coalition, says those options don't address the more immediate access problem for Crooked River Ranch, at Lower Bridge Way. His group hired an engineer who created six other options Grillo says ODOT should consider. All six designs are slight variations on the same concept [Option Two pictured above], "Our concept would provide on and offramps in both directions, north and south, on 97. And, it would also provide direct connection between Lower Bridge Way and 11th Street; and, of course, would maintain 11th Street as a two-way local street rather than as a highway couplet." Grillo says the "couplet" idea shouldn't even be on the table, "Today, approximately one out of every three vehicles that use Highway 97 is a truck – a big truck. And, that character of traffic going through basically 60’ of right-of-way through Terrebonne would really, I think, ruin Terrebonne’s character."
He agrees 97 should eventually become five lanes, but he believes it can't happen until the highway to the north and south of Terrebonne is also widened. He tells KBND News, "There are about 1.7 miles north and 1.7 miles south that are still [a] two-lane; because otherwise, you create a kind of passing lane situation. We don’t want people to speed up and go faster through Terrebonne, especially if there are constraints on either end."
Terrebonne Businesses Ask County to Help with 97 (02/21/2019)
The Save Terrebonne Coalition plans to host a community workshop with residents and officials from both the county and state, later this month, to discuss their proposal.