Local News

Empire's New RAB Opens Monday with Fanfare

BEND, OR -- City road crews are nearly finished installing the roundabout at Empire and Purcell, in NE Bend. Project Engineer Sinclair Burr says this is just Phase One of the Empire project - there's a lot more work still to come. "The Empire Extension, which will extend Empire from Purcell, all the way down to the intersection of Butler Market and 27th, and we'll be working on that through this fall. And then we'll work on the canal crossing this winter, we gotta do it when the water's off, and then, the last piece of the whole extension is the work at 27th and Butler Market, and that will be a new, double lane roundabout. That's a big one out there."

The roundabout will open Monday, and the City Councilors will attend a ribbon cutting at the site to mark the occasion. They're stopping to see the new roundabout as part of their already scheduled City Tour. "The Councilors will be on a bus, and they'll arrive around 10 am. They'll get out, look around, there'll be a couple words said. we'll cut the ribbon and then we'll be open for business." Burr hopes the public will also attend. "This is a big milestone for the project, but it's definitely not the completion of the project. Some of the big, impactful improvements are still out there."

He says those next phases will take him and his crews at least 18 months. "So, end of 2020 we should be done with the extension and the improvements to 27th, Butler Market, and future Empire." Other items Burr intends to complete, related to this project, are improvements to Purcell, South of the canal, and to the Butler Market and Purcell intersection.

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