Two years worth of detours and delays for water, sewer and road construction on Newport Avenue on Bend’s west side are nearing an end.
The Newport Avenue Corridor improvement project is entering its final phase. But confusion about the project, including in our newsroom, is understandable because the phases did not happen in numerical sequence.
For a host of reasons, Phase 4 is the final phase of construction in the five-stage project.
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If drivers who use Newport Avenue to get across town can hold on for just three more months, all the inconvenience will be forgotten.
“This project, the corridor, should be done by the end of May. We are on track for meeting that date,” said Brittany Barker, Principal Engineer for the City of Bend. “This segment is the final segment of the corridor.”
Storm drains, sewer and water lines are the primary causes for two years of construction pain on Newport Avenue between NW 9th Street and College Way.
“We prefer people use Portland or Shevlin Park Road to minimize traffic in residential neighborhoods, but especially using the east bound direction only on Milwaukee. Even if one car goes west bound on Milwaukee it’s a huge safety concern. We’ve asked the police department to help us with enforcement of that,” Barker said.
Drivers who go the wrong way on Milwaukee are subject to $265 tickets for failure to obey traffic control devices, Bend Police warned in an Instagram post.
“This particular section hasn’t been too bad. It’s been OK for us,” said Chris Rhoads, who lives two blocks off Newport Avenue. “When they were doing the section in front of Newport Market that was a little rough because of the traffic we were getting in front of the house but, it is what it is. It is a necessary evil and we just put with it and look forward to when it is done.”
If you find it necessary to drive on the formerly two-way Milwaukee Avenue, be aware of pedestrian channeling devices that gives people who are walking five feet of protected space between the curb and the travel lane.
“We are discussing what to do for a ribbon cutting ceremony. There are so many improvements above and below ground,” Barker said.
Newport Avenue Corridor construction costs are estimated $23 million.
Despite the pandemic, labor and material shortages, construction is on schedule for completion by the end of May, as planned.