By BROOKE SNAVELY
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY
Some companies and businesses are finding unexpected silver linings within the coronavirus pandemic.
For instance, with fewer people on the roads and the low cost of fuel, road construction is faster, safer and cheaper.
“Fuel costs have dropped significantly, and that significantly reduces construction costs,” Chris Doty, the director of Deschutes County Road Department, said. “Certainly having less traffic on the system can benefit the contracting community as they put together traffic control plans. We have a very hungry contracting community given the slow down in the economy.”
Earlier this week, the Oregon Department of Transportation swept cinders off highway 97 south of Bend. Normally this work would be done at night, but with reduced traffic volumes, the sweeping took place during the day. ODOT said working in daylight is safer and more efficient.
Another benefit: several businesses in downtown Bend are making use of the down-time to do renovations.
“We are using our time now to fix things,” L.P Reddy, owner of Taj Palace, said. “New ceiling inside, new lights, new electrical and new painting for the front.”
The City of Bend has had time for some renovations too. The City has repainted all the diagonal parking strips in downtown Bend.
Parking lines have been extended, and “tic” lines have been added to show people if their vehicles are extending into the lane of traffic.