BEND, OR -- The Oregon Department of Transportation has a plan to move the Bend North Highway East, closer to the railroad tracks, and the recent $60 million Federal grant from the Department of Transportation, means work could start sooner than expected.
ODOT’S Peter Murphy says they've started the process of figuring out how to allocate those funds. "The money has to be allocated, not necessarily spent, but allocated, by this time next year, which means we have to have our act together, and be able to identify where those funds are going to go. So, that's pretty quick, in ODOT terms, to have a $60 million grant that we have to put to use in about a year." Murphy says the funds must be allocated by this time next year. "We're going to put it to use on the Bend North Corridor project to move the current highway up on the north side of Bend a little bit to the East, closer to the railroad tracks. And, ti's got a whole lot of, we'll call them, 'spaghetti connections' that move people onto Highway 20, onto what would be onto the new 3rd Street, or a similar name, and then, onto the Highway itself. It's a big project."
Murphy says the work could begin by this time next year. "That process is unfolding. The City and the County are our partners, they've contributed funds to the project, as well. So, the good news is that it is going to accelerate some changes, the bad news is, watch for those changes coming up in your driving pattern."
The North Corridor project will move the current Highway on the North side of Bend to the East, closer to the railroad tracks, and simplify the connections to the area's various routes.