Get ready for the first significant change to Highway 97 for the Bend North Corridor Project. It includes a median removal and skinnier lanes north of Cooley Road.
The Oregon Department of Transportation said there will be a temporary traffic realignment on U.S. 97 between Grandview Drive and Empire Avenue starting Monday that will last for approximately the next eight months.
“Obviously it’s going to be a disruption right now, but I think the end result is going to be a very nice thing for our community,” said General Manager of Volvo of Bend Rob Sater.
Under the current traffic alignment, each lane is 12-feet wide with six-feet-wide shoulders and a barrier between opposing lanes.
Under the new configuration, the median is eliminated and lanes are being reduced to 11-feet wide. The northbound shoulder goes down to five-feet wide and the southbound shoulder will be two-feet wide.
The entire section will also be shifted to the west and a couple of turns from Highway 97 will be closed.
- The left turn onto Grandview Drive from northbound U.S. 97 will be permanently closed to traffic. Northbound travelers can access Grandview Drive by turning left onto Cooley Road, right onto Hunnell Road, right onto Loco Road, left onto Clausen Road and right onto Grandview Drive.
- The right turn onto Clausen Road from southbound U.S. 97 will be closed for approximately the next eight months. Southbound travelers can access Clausen Road by turning right onto Grandview Drive and left onto Clausen Road.
“That’s definitely going to slow down our business,” said Suhkman Johal with Space Age. “I mean, it already has because of like the homeless, like leaving and that was like a big part of our business. But that is definitely going to slow it down.”
As this will be construction zone, drivers are reminded to slow down for workers.
“A lot of construction workers come in and buy stuff, so it’s been pretty nice, but is like kind of taking away from like our business,” said Johal.
The Bend North Corridor Project will shift Highway 97 to the east between Empire Avenue and Cooley Road. That will allow drivers who want to bypass the shopping centers on the north end of town to do so, thereby relieving the long backups that often form there.
ODOT recently completed two new dual-lane roundabouts on Highway 20 at Cooley Road and Robal Lane as part of the project.
“A lot of people, you know, come up and down 97 through this pass and it’s one of those things that I think the to get it safer is going to be a big part, you know, making sure that everybody’s everybody safe and everybody’s taking care of,” said Sater.
Completion of the Highway 97 portion is projected to be completed by the end of 2024.