ODOT says changes unlikely at Hwy 97/O’Neil Hwy junction

Two people were killed Saturday in a crash on Highway 97 and the O’Neil Highway Junction – the same stretch where a Terrebonne man was killed in early July.

Three dead in less than a month have some calling on the Oregon Department of Transportation to change the intersection north of Redmond.

A number of comments our Facebook page ask for changes like a center divider or a traffic signal or reduced speeds.

ODOT Spokesman Peter Murphy said four people have died at or near the junction in the last six years.

One between 2015-2019 and three this year.

“We have plans for that particular intersection; you know, we have plans all over the place,” he said. “But, it’s important that people understand that the random nature of the crashes that we experience complicates the solutions.”

ODOT has already installed rumble strips in the area and there are plans to eventually add signals warning highway drivers there is opposing traffic.

But, because of the relatively low number of serious crashes along that stretch, it’s not considered a high priority for major improvements.

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