▶️ Roundabout Plan at Highway 20 & Hamby Road Moves Forward

By Meghan Glova
Central Oregon Daily News

The intersection of Highway 20 and Hamby Road has been a dangerous spot – there’s been two fatal crashes there in the last five years.

Today, a major step forward to make the intersection safer.

Deschutes County Commissioners approved an agreement with the Oregon Department of Transportation Monday morning, putting up a half million dollars to redesign the intersection.

It’s a major step in the $4.4 million dollar improvement project to make the area safer.

Peter Murphy from ODOT says, “As a lot of other places in Bend have grown up, there’s more and more traffic happening. This is an area where we’ve noticed that there is the opportunity for more crashes and more collisions, and certainly the track record out there shows that.”

The intersection of Highway 20 and Hamby Road has experienced two fatalities within the past five years, and is no stranger to collisions. In hopes of making this area a safer place to drive, ODOT has proposed the building of a roundabout.

“We know through study that roundabouts, number one, reduce the speed at intersections.” Murphy said. “Any collision that does occur is happening at a lower speed, so that means fewer injuries and less property damage.”

Murphy says although there are many details still in the works for this project, including the design of the roundabout, the concept and funding is a step in the right direction. 

“We have to have real drawings, we have to have a good idea of what takes place. If there’s right of way that has to be acquired we have to go through that process as well,” he said. “So there are a number of steps that are yet to happen, but this is an important marker here with the county getting on board with Intergovernmental Agreement.”

According to ODOT, about 7,500 vehicles drive along Highway 20 per day.

By building a roundabout, people will have to slow down and any accidents are likely to be less severe.

Construction on the project could begin as soon as 2021.

Holiday Travels

If you’re traveling for the holidays, either by plane or by car, officials are sending the same message – leave early and prepare for delays. With more people traveling and snow in the forecast Central Oregon Daily’s Anyssa Bohanan checked in with officials from Oregon Department of Transportation and RDMRedmondAirport to see how this year’s holiday travel season is shaping up.

Tree Removal: Expect Delays on Highway 20

An herbicide sprayed to prevent weed growth along Highway 20 also damaged a significant number of ponderosa pines. Now the Oregon Department of Transportation is working to remove some of those dead or dying trees as they pose a safety concern for drivers along Highway 20, west of Sisters. The initial removal of the trees that pose the greatest threat will start Monday and ODOT is warning drivers to be aware of crews along the road and to expect some minor delays.

Central Oregon Daily’s Anyssa Bohanan has more on what drivers can expect come Monday.

Watch for Wildlife

ODOT Officals Look to Educate Drivers Before Deer Migration

With mule deer migrating across Central Oregon, now is a dangerous time for both drivers and wildlife. Oregon Department of Transportation officials are hoping to educate drivers about how to stay safe on the road, and they are looking into new ways to keep wildlife off the road in order to keep everyone a little safer this season.

Central Oregon Daily’s Anyssa Bohanan has more on the story.

The Great Outdoors: Mistake Results in Loss of Hundreds of Ponderosa Pines

Both the Oregon Department of Transportation and the Deschutes National Forest admit a mistake was made that has led to the death of hundreds of ponderosa pine trees on Highway 20, west of Sisters.

For this week’s Great Outdoors, sponsored by Parr Lumber, Brian Jennings takes a closer look at what happened and what’s being done to prevent another mistake in the future.

ODOT Warns Motorists to Slow Down on Wintry Roads

After multiple accidents across the state and here in Central Oregon, the Oregon Department of Transportation is asking driver’s to travel cautiously during the holiday season.

Central Oregon Daily’s Anyssa Bohanan sat down with ODOT today to discuss how you can avoid getting into an accident in inclement weather and how to remain watchful on the road.

ODOT Urges Motorists to “Move Over”

As the weather takes a sever turn this winter, there will be more first responders on our roads helping motorists who have run into trouble, and putting themselves in harm’s way in the process.

Central Oregon Daily’s Anyssa Bohanan went on a ride-along with an Oregon Department of Transportation crew who want to remind everyone about the state’s “Move Over” laws, to protect those who protect you.