It’s a major moment for the largest construction project in Central Oregon. Today, south of Bend, a lot of trucks will be on the road as ODOT's contractor pours the deck on the new southbound bridge on the U.S. 97 Lava Butte Project. ODOT's Peter Murphy says the popular highway is in "transition" right now, but will be much better at the end of the summer when this $16 million project is done. "What we'll end up with is a big separation between northbound and southbound lanes. We'll have more capacity so it'll be safer and better. And the way traffic has been growing in the Bend area for so long, this was a real critical need that we had here, the volumes were up. It was too close together; we had two lanes close to each other. We'd get winter weather set in, so it was a real problem; lots of crashes, so the time was right, we found the money." He says the stimulus money made an important difference is helping this large project move forward. Almost $12 million came from stimulus funds.