REDMOND, OR -- The City of Redmond is working with Oregon’s Department of Transportation to update Highway 97 between Highland (Highway 126) and the Yew Avenue exit. "Twenty years ago, there were about 25,000 trips a day, call it at Veterans Way, in Redmond," says ODOT's Peter Murphy, "Today, there’s 40,000."
That increase and the potential for future growth necessitate a fix, according to Murphy. He says the South Redmond Corridor Project will address safety issues in the area, "People trying to take left turns, for example, across the median and into a business and, when you put the number of vehicles at 15,000 more than it used to be with that many more turning movements, it cries out for some kind of solution." The proposed design currently under consideration includes several new traffic signals, medians and U-turn opportunities on the highway, as well as roundabouts on Canal Blvd., which is expected to see increased traffic, as well.
Murphy says a South 97 "reroute," like what opened more than a decade ago north of Highland, isn’t a realistic option, "We’re talking about making due with the situation that we have and how to make it move more smoothly. So, it’s within this corridor that’s well established; you know, a lot of businesses along the way that have invested there. We’re focused on this corridor and what to do to make it safer over the long haul."
Several public meetings are scheduled over the next two weeks to get public feedback on the proposed concept, but Murphy says there is not yet money for the project, "Since this is really a combined operation with the city of Redmond and ODOT, we want to spend some time out in the community and hear what people have to say and have the city of Redmond weigh in as well and eventually have what we believe to be the best plan for the area that serves the greatest good; then move forward with trying to find the funding for it."
For more on the project, visit the new website SouthRedmond97.org or attend one of the following upcoming meetings:
April 10, 2:30 p.m. at Mazatlan Mexican Restaurant; 1302 S Highway 97
April 11, 7:00 a.m. at BasX Solutions; 3500 SW 21st Place
April 11, 12:30 p.m. at Madaline’s Grill & Steak House; 2414 S Highway 97
A Stakeholder Advisory Committee meeting will also be held April 10 from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. at Redmond City Hall.