BEND, OR -- The long-awaited extension of Empire Avenue begins September 10. Drivers can expect delays and inconveniences during construction, but Project Manager Sinclair Burr believes it will be worth the wait, "It should be a benefit to all road users, we're improving the bike lanes, adding sidewalks, we're adding turn lanes for the road, and to reduce travel times and increase safety is the main goal for this project. Extending Empire is going to be a huge benefit."
Phase One includes a roundabout at Purcell and Empire, and reconstruction of Empire between Purcell and NE 18th, "We are closing down Empire between 18th and Purcell. We'll be rebuilding that roadway section, adding sidewalks and widening the street; so that's going to be about a three-month process," Burr tells KBND News, "And after that time, we won't have to close down Empire again, during the project."
Phase Two includes the actual extension of Empire to NE 27th and Butler Market Road, including another new roundabout. For those with questions about the project, the city will host an open house August 20, in the Combined Communications parking lot at 18th and Empire. Combined Communications is the parent company of KBND News. "We're trying to get the information out, tell people what to expect, show them what the improvements are, so people can know why we're closing down the road. So it'll be a lot of information sharing," says Burr.
Work is expected to be complete in 2021. Click HERE
to visit the city's project webpage.