REDMOND, OR -- Work on Redmond’s South Canal Boulevard is in the home stretch, after a one-year closure. City Engineer Mike Caccavano says crews have finished sidewalks and, this week, they’ll install signs and mailboxes, and work on grading the base rock for pavement. "The week of the 15th is paving. As long as it doesn’t rain all week, they’ll get it paved; striping at the end of the week, and then opening probably late afternoon on Friday, the 19th." But don't expect any pomp and circumstance, "That is one of our things here in Engineering, we’re like, ‘okay, we’re done with that one; let’s move on to the next.’ We don’t often take the time to celebrate."
He says the stretch of road from Veterans Way to Yew Avenue is a vast improvement over what Canal Boulevard was before, "There was a roadway, but it was substandard pavement and it didn’t have the turn lanes. So, that was the original motivation for the project, bring it up to our standard." After planning for the project began, it became an even higher priority because of its location, "The importance of it as an alternative to 97, particularly with the pretty significant increase we’ve seen all along 97, from Madras through Bend - I think the realization of how important it is has increased." And, he tells KBND News, it was important to improve the street, if and when ODOT takes on a proposed redesign of South Highway 97, which could send even more cars on to SW Canal.
When the rest of Canal reopens, next week, one intersection will remain closed. Caccavano expects construction of a new roundabout at Canal and Pumice will begin by early summer, "The intent is to get it done before school starts. And, it would just effect that one intersection. But, we’re really working hard, trying to come up with an option that at least maintains one-way traffic." Caccavano acknowledges the delay is an inconvenience, but says it’s needed to handle increased traffic volumes expected by an apartment complex planned for nearby.
While the main South Canal Boulevard reconstruction project came in on time and just about 1% over budget, at nearly $7 million, the small roundabout adds another estimated half million dollars.