BEND, OR -- Representatives from the Oregon Department of Transportation met with Deschutes County Commissioners Monday, to discuss possible solutions for three well-known trouble spots.
Deschutes County Commissioner Tony DeBone says there are serious safety concerns over Highway 20 at Ward and Hamby roads; it's been the site of several fatal crashes. He tells KBND News, "ODOT is committing to putting $3.9 million into the programming of the next statewide Transportation Improvement Plan - STIF - which starts in '21. And, Deschutes County will be able to add $500,000, to that project; Deschutes County's dollars will come from our capital improvements funds for roads." He says the money would get ODOT started on the design, so they're able to build once state funds are allocated.
For Highway 20 in Tumalo, DeBone says there's disagreement over whether to build a roundabout for $13.2 million, or an over/under pass for $28.8 million. But, ODOT appears to be leaning toward a roundabout to address traffic flow and speed problems, "It's probably the right thing to do in the downtown Tumalo area on Highway 20. See, see you really have to slow way down to get through a roundabout, even if there's nobody around, and that naturally slows down the traffic. So, it would a lot higher speed if it was an over/under pass."
DeBone says the third area has seen its share of contention. Highway 97 in Terrebonne is in for some changes. DeBone says ODOT shared their plans on Monday, "It's a double underpass with a simple roundabout for being able to have crossing maneuvers at Lower Bridge. And the couplet is still in there." That couplet would take northbound highway traffic down 11th Street, while southbound remains on the existing highway. DeBone calls the solution an interesting hybrid of all the ideas put forth by the community and different agencies.
File Photo: Highway 97 in Terrebonne