BEND, OR -- The City of Bend is celebrating $25 million in new funding to advance a planned Hawthorne Avenue bike and pedestrian crossing, "Over the Parkway, over the railroad, which is our big divider in town," says Mayor Melanie Kebler, "And really, I think, can be an iconic part of Bend."
She tells KBND News the project started with a study paid for by the 2020 Transportation Bond, "And what we found was we needed investment on [the] Franklin undercrossing, Greenwood undercrossing and then the idea for a pedestrian and bike overcrossing on Hawthorne in the middle of the Bend Central District, that would connect it to our downtown." The goal is to create a complete bike and pedestrian corridor from Juniper Park to Drake Park.
The city expects to receive a nearly $20 million federal grant, "Part of the Infrastructure Law that the Biden Administration and the Congress have put forward; it’s called a RAISE grant. And that is going to supplement our budget, as well as $5 million that’s been allocated in the state budget," says Kebler. "We’ve got some previous money that we had allocated. And we’re going to be talking about this more at our July 19th City Council meeting, so anyone who’s interested can tune in. We’re going to get an overview from staff about: now that we’ve gotten this money, what are the next steps? And what the timeline is."
She expects the work to take several years, "First you have to start with design, and you want to have community input on that and see what’s actually feasible there. We’ve done a little bit of that work already, but we need to nail that down. We need to work with our partner ODOT, because we’re going over the Parkway, and with the railroad; and sometimes the railroads can be very slow in granting permits and things like that. So, we’ll see. It’s definitely a few years out, but really excited to get that moving forward."
Image: Rendering of proposed concept