MADRAS, OR -- Work on Highway 97 on the south end of Madras is nearing completion, and many in the area are concerned about the bottleneck created by the single-lane roadway. The Oregon Department of Transportation is re-aligning northbound 97 to better accommodate cross-traffic on “J” Street.
ODOT’s Peter Murphy tells KBND the single-lane portion of the highway is only temporary. "Before, there were two lanes going through tow, and there are going to be two lanes going through town. There’s construction that takes place continuously; we had to make available the lane so we could do work on the other sections. So, as we proceed with the project and get done with it, it’ll be back to two lanes." He adds, "There’s plenty of room, if you look at the roadway there, it’s just striped for one. Just wait a little bit, have a little patience, and it’s going to be two lanes."
Road work on the $4.5 million project is expected to be completed by the end of the month, with lighting and other aesthetics finished by the end of October.