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Local News

Bend City Council Votes to Improve Highway 97


It's seen as a way for communities to join together to improve Highway 97. Last night, Bend City Council discussed the “Trip 97 Partnership”. Bend, Redmond and Madras officials say they all have the same problem, and it's that fact that could be key to getting some meaningful improvements. That is working together. Chris Doty is public works director for the city of Redmond: “The concept is; lets view Highway 97 not as a series of intersections that we have to mitigate piece by piece by piece or improve piece by piece by piece. But one holistic corridor. Look at how we can fund improvements.” Those funding mechanisms could be tax increment financing or other means to come up with the local match. This collaboration could also give the Highway 97 corridor more attention in Salem.   Madras City Manager Mike Morgan says this could also give added attention to what he says is the need for change in the transportation planning rule. That is the rule, which allows ODOT to essentially put the brakes on development if existing roads can't handle the increased traffic. “Which has cost us development, jobs and taxes within out community.”

 

 

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