By BROOKE SNAVELY
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS
Bend is famous for all the activities people undertake during our distinct weather seasons.
But there are really only two driving seasons: Winter and Road Construction…when it seems every direction you turn, another project is causing delays and detours.
There are road construction projects happening all over Bend.
Closure of the roundabout at Mt. Washington and Skyliner Road is causing the most re-routing of traffic around the west side of town.
It is also the one project the city is hearing the most complaints about.
“A lot of people are having a hard time figuring out the detours,” said Charles Swann, City of Bend Street Division Operations Manager. “We have a ton of signs out. We’ve driven it ourselves. Just slow down. Follow the signs, pay attention to them. They will take to where you need to go.”
The Mount Washington Skyliner Road roundabout is on schedule to reopen by April 23, following its reconstruction.
Another project impacting a lot of driver are repairs and improvements to the Parkway, between Empire and Murphy roads.
Closure areas shift almost daily as work progresses, and motorists need to keep a close watch for detours though the middle of May.
“If you are on the highway or parkway at night, chances are pretty good you are going to get moved onto Third Street,” said Peter Murphy, Oregon Department of Transportation spokesperson. “Whether it’s from the south to the north or the north to the south, for this period of time that we are working on the highway, motorists should expect to be shuffled off onto Third Street.”
There is hope this road construction season. Some projects are already beginning to open such as the roundabout at Tumalo Junction just off highway 97 between Bend and Redmond.
It’s still under construction and traffic speeds are reduced to 25 mph but traffic is flowing the partially completed roundabout.