PRINEVILLE, OR -- A proposal to construct a new access road for Juniper Canyon, in Crook County, is gaining support. County Commissioner Jerry Brummer tells KBND News about a quarter of the county's residents live in the Juniper Canyon area and the single access road raises concerns over evacuations for fire or other emergencies, and creates more congestion in Prineville. He says a second route would improve safety, "It would come off lower Davis Road, approximately a mile and an half from Juniper Canyon Road, and then it would come out on Highway 27, which goes out over the Golden Dam and connects with Highway 20."
Brummer has been working on the idea for about a decade and says he's pleased it's finally gaining traction, "We're just trying to get another access, and we want it to be a good access to where we can divert traffic, and actually change the traffic flow all the way through town." He says residents seem on-board with the project, but he's looking for a lot of input as things move forward, "One of the things we want to do, when we get the information back from ODOT, is to set down and figure out what the cost is going to be, and then start holding meetings in the Juniper Canyon area and just get some public input." He's working with the Oregon Department of Transportation to draw plans, and a meeting with local leaders is scheduled for mid-March. They hope to move forward with engineering work and procuring rights-of-way while they apply for grants and seek additional sources of funding.