CROOKED RIVER RANCH, OR -- Construction is complete on the second access road for Crooked River Ranch. Officials and residents celebrated the opening of Quail Road at a ribbon cutting ceremony, Tuesday. Crews began work in August.
John Williams, Director of the CRR Special Road Committee, says the project took years to get approved and built, and couldn't have been accomplished without collaboration, "The cooperation between Deschutes County, and BLM, and Jefferson County, and Crooked River Ranch Board of Directors; so, just about everybody got involved." He says local fire agencies were also involved, since the new road was deemed a necessary evacuation route in the case of a wildland fire.
Williams admits not everyone in CRR supported the project, "Some of the people were upset about it. They referred to it as the 'Million Dollar Mile' because they figured that homeowner's dues was [sic] going to go up to pay for it." He says Jefferson County was able to secure an improvements loan from the Department of Transportation, through the Oregon Transportation Infrastructure Bank. Jefferson and Deschutes Counties also contributed $100,000 each, and the Ranch Board of Directors chipped in $200,000, cutting the cost of the finished road significantly. "So, it came in considerably under what some people thought it was going to cost. It's very doable now. It's a 15 year loan, but it'll probably be paid off before that." Ranch dues did go up this year; $25 dollars from each homeowner now goes to repay Jefferson County.
More than 2,600 people live in the community of about 10,000 acres. But, it's only had one two-way road to get in and out until now, "Everybody on the ranch is better off for it because it is an additional entrance and exit for the Ranch," Williams tells KBND News, "We were limited before with only having 43rd Street going into Chinook. So, that was on one side of the ranch and the other side was, pretty much, vulnerable."