By Brooke Snavely
Central Oregon Daily News
Construction is underway to improve safety at the dangerous “Six Corners” intersection on South Canal Boulevard between Redmond and Bend.
The project will convert the existing 6-way intersection of SW Canal Boulevard, SW 61st Street and SW Quarry Avenue to a four-way intersection with left turn lanes and adjacent “T” intersections.
The $957,000 project is being built by the county’s contractor, Knife River Corporation Northwest. It is scheduled for completion in November.
“It’s going to be a much safer intersection with a protected left turn lane for folks driving on South Canal Boulevard, and then a realigned intersection making the sight lines much easier to navigate as a commuter ,” said Chris Doty, director of the Deschutes County Road Department.
Drivers should use caution and anticipate single lane closures and delays in the project area during daylight hours. Portions of SW Quarry and SW 61st will be closed beginning August 31 for construction of connector streets.
“There’s been a long history of crashes at that intersection,” Doty said. “It’s difficult for motorists on the side streets to understand who has the right of way. It creates sight distance issues and general confusion. By constructing this realignment it should help drivers navigate in a much safer manner.”
Doty says design of the original six corners dates back to when farmers used the intersection to haul products to market. Nowadays, upward of 10,000 vehicles pass through the intersection every day.
The new 4-way intersection is designed for additional modification as traffic loads increase. It could become a roundabout in 20 or 30 years.