REDMOND, OR -- Redmond’s South Canal Boulevard is expected to reopen on time, despite last month’s snowfall. But, City Engineer Mike Caccavano says one part of the reconstruction project is changing, "While we’ve been working on the project, there’s also been a development proposal for a big chunk of property in between Obsidian and Pumice, right along S. Canal; 192 units of apartments." He says traffic studies required during the development planning process show the Obsidian Heights complex would bring too many vehicles to the area around Safeway, and the intersection of S. Canal and Pumice Avenue would fail.
He's proposing a mini-roundabout at Canal and Pumice, "We already congestion at Pumice and the new development would just compound that. So, we can solve an existing problem and a future problem at the same time." The roundabout would only have three legs until the fourth leg is needed for the apartment complex. Caccavano admits the additional work will stretch out the S. Canal Reconstruction Project, "The plan is to finish up the rest of S. Canal. We left out curbs and sidewalks at this intersection, knowing this was coming. We’d open up the rest of the road in April, as planned, yet we would keep that one intersection closed to allow for reconstruction."
Caccavano presented his idea to City Council Tuesday night, with a preliminary design. He tells KBND News it needs to not only handle the potential increase in residential traffic in the area, but also anticipated increases when work eventually begins on South Highway 97, which parallels S. Canal Boulevard. "We only have one roundabout in town and we had seen mini roundabouts used in a number of locations and thought it would be a good solution here. But, [we] wanted to make sure because, at the same time we’re planning for S. Highway 97, and we know there’s going to be a lot of connections and trucks are going to using Canal Boulevard to get access to businesses on 97."
City Council approved the idea, but asked that roundabout construction happen as efficiently as possible to minimize impacts on drivers and neighbors. They also want to make sure access to Safeway remains open. Caccavano says the specific cost and timeline will be worked out with contractor Knife River in the next few weeks. Preliminary estimates put the expansion at about half a million dollars. He says they're considering extended workdays, night work, building half at a time and other ideas, to move things quickly.