Local News

ODOT Budget Cuts Affect Plowing

BEND, OR -- Oregon Department of Transportation budget cuts will mean less snow removal and winter maintenance on our roads. Declining gas tax revenue is the reason for the 5% drop across all programs; services and materials are slashed by 15%.

ODOT’s Kacey Davey tells KBND News high volume roads, those seeing over 3,000 vehicles per day will still get plowed, “97 and 26 and I 84... we're going to keep those clear and open the best we can because they see such a large number of folks and that's where all of our freight goes and our commuter goes and our school buses are, so we're going to really focus on the safety of those areas.” She says it won’t be the same for roads that see less than 3,000 cars a day, “In central Oregon, almost 60% of our roads are considered low volume, even popular traveled roads like the road up to Mount Bachelor, for instance.” She says drivers will need to be alert, “We're just asking that folks be extra prepared for this winter. Be patient if it's taking us longer to clear the roads because we've got less staff out there doing the job.”

This has Bend Mayor Melanie Kebler worried, “There may be a moment for Central Oregon in general to come together and say that it's not acceptable to reduce that kind of service because it creates more danger.”

Kebler spoke at last week's joint meeting of the city council and Deschutes County commissioners, and suggested they may ask the State to get involved. 


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