Redmond approves TSA checkpoint contract, Hwy 97 safety plan

Redmond City Councilors on Wednesday gave the thumbs up to a couple different projects that will impact anyone who flies out of RDM or drives through town on Highway 97.

A project to add a third TSA checkpoint at Redmond Airport will move forward after councilors awarded SunWest Builders a $209,000 construction contract for the work.

“Growth in passenger traffic at Redmond Airport (RDM) has created the need, and the eligibility, for a third TSA security inspection checkpoint in the pre-boarding area,” according to a background report presented to the council.

More than 100,000 passengers used RDM in August alone.

The airport will be responsible for constructing modifications to the terminal building, according to the plan.

These include remodeling of an existing wall, installation of a new entrance door into the screening area, and various electrical and mechanical modifications for the new screening equipment.

The new TSA line will mostly be used by travelers with TSA Pre-check, but Redmond Mayor George Endicott says the extra line will ultimately help with airport efficiency, especially with new flights that have been added in recent months.

“We’re looking at three more flights a day so that’s gonna add to the load, Alaska is going to expand their service. So, you know, we just continue to grow in terms of flights and in terms of destinations,” Endicott said. “We’re glad to see this because we need it.”

Also Wednesday, councilors and the city planning commission adopted a plan to add multiple new safety features to the Highway 97 corridor on the south end of town.

The plan will be added to city’s overall transportation system plan, which now goes to the Oregon Transportation Commission for approval.

The safety improvements in the area include adding new traffic signals to allow for U-turns and adding medians to a congested section of the highway

“We have a situation where we have a lot of curb-cuts along that stretch in close proximity, and people making left-hand turns can often be in conflict with each other,” said Scott Woodford, co-project manager.



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