BEND, OR -- Deschutes County road crews are working on a number of new projects, long before the traditional start of road construction season. Chris Doty says several projects are just on the outskirts of Bend, "County roads that connect to cities are seeing a heavy increase in traffic, especially during the commute hours."
Doty is the Director of the Deschutes County Road Department. He says new roundabouts are coming this year to the intersection of Deschutes Market and Hamehook roads, and Powell Butte Highway and Butler Market Road, "These are two intersections that have had crash issues and capacity issues, just in serving the amount of traffic through there."
Just north of Bend, as ODOT begins work on the Highway 97 North Corridor, a parallel project is underway on Hunnell Road (pictured) designed to allow for local access when the highway is rerouted. County crews will take on that local road project. "That’s about a four mile collector road that’s historically been a local street, basically, for neighbors in that area," says Doty, "So, we’re providing connectivity from Tumalo Road, near the Deschutes Market Road interchange on Highway 97, all the way down into the city basically, connecting to Loco Road; and then to Cooley Road will provide that full corridor, when it’s all said and done."
But he acknowledges they can’t begin until the large homeless camp is cleared, "That’s part of the discussion: When is that necessary, based on the transportation improvements and use in the area? There’s a whole variety of things happening in that corridor; both with the state highway project, private development and then our project, as well. Certainly that’s going to be used more importantly as a transportation piece in the coming future, so that’s a concern." He expects the project to be mostly complete by the end of the year.
To hear the full conversation with Deschutes County Road Department Director Chris Doty, visit our Podcast Page.