BEND, OR -- The intersection of Highway 20 and Hamby Road on the East side of Bend will get a major reconstruction. The Deschutes County Commissioners Monday approved a plan to partner with the Oregon Department of Transportation and contribute $500,000 to redesign the intersection, and purchase right-of-way.
Commissioner Tony DeBone says the intersection has been a problem for a long time, with many accidents and some fatalities in the last few years. "So, it's already in our capital improvement plan, Gantt chart of the future, so we're scheduled for spending these dollars, so I don't see any downside in approving it."
The project is estimated, at this early stage, to cost about $4.4 million - ODOT has $3.9 million approved to build the roundabout, but the money is not yet available. Commissioner Patti Adair says it's time to take action. "I believe I went through that intersection and there was a fatality, maybe last year, that same day that I went through it, so it's really critical. What? Two fatalities in the last 5 years, but a lot of accidents there, so the sooner we get going with that project, the better it is."
Construction on the project is slated to begin in late 2021. According to ODOT, About 7,500 vehicles use that stretch of the Highway daily.