BEND, OR -- Major changes took effect Monday on the north end of Bend, "A temporary traffic shift is in place on Highway 97, between Grandview Drive and Empire Avenue, for about the next eight months." That includes narrowing all driving lanes, "From 12’ down to 11’," says ODOT's Mindy McCartt, "And that’s both directions." Shoulders are also smaller and vehicles are just generally closer together. McCartt says, "The center median barrier is being removed during this portion of construction."
There’s a permanent closure of Grandview Drive for northbound traffic. But McCartt says there is an alternate route, "Northbound travelers can access Grandview Drive by turning left onto Cooley Road, right onto Hunnel Road, and then right onto Loco, left onto Clausen Road, and then right onto Grandview Drive. I know that sounds like a lot, but it’s just the rerouting of the entire roadway." A temporary closure is also in place for Clausen, from southbound 97.
The work is part of the multi-year Bend North Corridor Improvement Project. McCartt tells KBND News the timing of this phase means typical holiday traffic near Cascade Village Shopping Center will likely be even more congested, "And a lot of people that are coming into the area to visit people who live in the Bend area, and are maybe not familiar with the roads. And then add on top of that, construction zones." She reminds drivers speed limits are always lower in work zones, "We’re asking drivers to pay attention when they see the orange signs, barrels, cones, barricades, not only in the work zone but in the area of transition into those work zones."