PRINEVILLE, OR -- Work begins Wednesday on a curb reconstruction project for the Tom McCall Roundabout.
Peter Murphy from the Oregon Department of Transportation says the Tom McCall Roundabout was the first of its kind in Central Oregon, and was a learning experience. "What we've learned was that having vertical curbs can cause problems, particularly for trucks, who are trying to navigate that roundabout. So, what we decided was having a mountable, kind of an angled, curb, is much better."
Crews will only be working Wednesday and Thursday nights from 7 pm to 7 am, and Murphy says that could mean construction could last awhile. "It's, really, relatively speaking, kind of a small job, but the way we have to kind of squeeze it in with our contractor, it means it's going to take a couple of weeks, maybe even 4 to 5 weeks to get the job done."
He says the work is necessary because, while the roundabout only opened in June of 2018, it has proven to be less easy to navigate than ODOT had hoped. "The idea at the time was a vertical curb, well that doesn't work, trucks have to go up and over that, so a mountable one works a lot better for the freight industry, and it actually works better for everybody when it comes to winter and icy conditions out there."
The work is expected to cost $185,000, which ODOT will cover.