BEND, OR -- Mild weather is allowing the Oregon Department of Transportation to work on several major local highway projects much earlier than anticipated. Construction of the roundabout on Highway 126 and Tom McCall Road, in Crook County, began in January and ODOT’s Abbey Driscoll says it’s now ahead of schedule, due to the favorable conditions, "Right now, they’re working on constructing a new alignment of Airport Way that’ll help shift highway traffic when we need to construct the actual roundabout. People will see fewer delays out there, and we’ll just keep traffic on the highway moving, using that new alignment of Airport Way."
In about two weeks, crews will begin repaving eight miles of Highway 20, between Powell Butte Highway and Horse Ridge. "The pavement in that stretch is pretty bad; lots of rutting from all those studded tires," Driscoll tells KBND News. She says work will stretch through the end of May, weather permitting, "It’ll be daytime work, Monday through Fridays. People should expect single-lane closures, flaggers, pilot cars, delays up to 20 minutes. So, just plan ahead if you’re traveling east of Bend."
Also next month, ODOT crews will repave 12 miles of Highway 97, between Terrebonne and Madras. They'll also install "rumble strips" along the stretch. Driscoll says that project will mostly take place at night, but drivers will likely still see delays, "There’ll be a big push to try to grind out one lane, then help shift traffic around so we can keep traffic moving as best as we possibly can. But, people still should expect some single-lane closures and delays. You’ll see flaggers and pilot cars out there, as well."
For more information on the local projects expected to get underway in the next few months, listen to our full conversation with ODOT's Abbey Driscoll on our Podcast Page
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