SISTERS, OR -- Construction is underway on Sisters’ first roundabout. Plans to upgrade the intersection of Highway 20, Barclay Drive and McKinney Butte Road have been in the works for several years. The area has seen a number of serious crashes.
Peter Murphy, with the Oregon Department of Transportation, says a roundabout is the safest way to handle increasing traffic volumes on the west end of Sisters. "We don’t like the fact that people have to come to a complete stop when there’s a light," he tells KBND News. "We like to have people moving all the time, because what that does is it slows folks down so that the speeds are not – well, the momentum is less. The energy that’s created in a crash is significantly less when you have a roundabout and people keep moving, as opposed to coming to a complete stop and then rear-ending, or whatever it might be."
Crews broke ground on the $3.2-million project last week. "It’ll be done by Memorial Day," says Murphy. "That’s the promise we’ve made to the city. They get real busy – you know, the tourist season comes on." East and westbound traffic on Highway 20 is expected to stay open during construction; although, McKinney Butte and Barclay will be closed for several weeks, while each side of the roundabout is built. Beginning Saturday (Feb. 25), Barclay Drive will close for four to five weeks while Knife River crews perform excavation and install curbs and sidewalks. The majority of work will occur Monday through Saturday. Detours will be in place
For more information on the project, click HERE.