Drivers used to turning onto or off of Highway 20 at Robal Lane in Bend are going to have to deal with detours. The signal at that intersection is shutting down permanently Tuesday night to make way for a new roundabout.
It’s a frequented route, often used to enter the Cascade Village Shopping Center from the highway. Shoppers coming in from the north will need to plan accordingly and possibly for longer travel times.
Oregon Department of Transportation Public Information Officer Kacey Davey says drivers will not be able to exit left off the highway or off Robal back onto the highway.
“You’ll only be able to make right-in, right-out turns out of Robal,” Davey said. “If you need to make a different maneuver than that, use Hunnell to Cooley. Cooley now has a fully functioning roundabout.”
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The new Cooley roundabout opened last Friday. It’s eventually going to be a dual lane. For now, it’s one lane.
Drivers headed south into Bend on U.S. 20 will have to make a left at Cooley and then a right on Hunnell to get to Robal. Drivers headed north on Highway 20 will still be able to make a right onto Robal.
Drivers who are on Robal can take a right onto Highway 20, but will not be able to turn left. For those who want to head south on Highway 20 from Robal will either need to make a right then go around the Cooley roundabout and double back, or they can drive down Hunnell Road and then to Cooley to get back on U.S. 20 toward Bend.
These changes do not affect traffic to and from Robal Lane at Highway 97.
Davey says roundabouts are safer alternatives to traffic signals.
“They actually reduce serious injury and fatal crashes by 90% or more. It gives people from all directions good access to be going anywhere they need to go, and pedestrians and cyclists also have a safer time using those than traditional signalized intersections,” Davey said.
Davey says the Robal roundabout is expected to be complete by fall.
The new roundabouts are part of the Bend North Corridor Project. The Highway 20 segment is expected to be completed by the end of the year. The second part, which will shift part of Highway 97 to the east, is scheduled to be finished by the end of 2024.