▶️ Improvements Coming to Dangerous “Six Corners” Intersection

By Brooke Snavely
Central Oregon Daily News

Construction is underway to improve safety at the dangerous “Six Corners” intersection on South Canal Boulevard between Redmond and Bend.

The project will convert the existing 6-way intersection of SW Canal Boulevard, SW 61st Street and SW Quarry Avenue to a four-way intersection with left turn lanes and adjacent “T” intersections.

The $957,000 project is being built by the county’s contractor, Knife River Corporation Northwest. It is scheduled for completion in November.

“It’s going to be a much safer intersection with a protected left turn lane for folks driving on South Canal Boulevard, and then a realigned intersection making the sight lines much easier to navigate as a commuter ,” said Chris Doty, director of the Deschutes County Road Department.

Drivers should use caution and anticipate single lane closures and delays in the project area during daylight hours. Portions of SW Quarry and SW 61st will be closed beginning August 31 for construction of connector streets.

“There’s been a long history of crashes at that intersection,” Doty said. “It’s difficult for motorists on the side streets to understand who has the right of way. It creates sight distance issues and general confusion. By constructing this realignment it should help drivers navigate in a much safer manner.”

Doty says design of the original six corners dates back to when farmers used the intersection to haul products to market. Nowadays, upward of 10,000 vehicles pass through the intersection every day.

The new 4-way intersection is designed for additional modification as traffic loads increase. It could become a roundabout in 20 or 30 years.

Roundabout Nixed, New Signal Slated for Neff & Purcell

Bend City Councilors have agreed on a fix for a busy intersection.

After considering a roundabout at the corner of Neff and Purcell in northeast Bend, councilors on Thursday decided that upgrading the traffic signal and adding dedicated turn lanes were more feasible.

“There was a number of things we looked at for a roundabout versus signal,” said Sinclair Burr, a City of Bend engineer. “Turns out a roundabout is about $2.2 million more expensive than a signal; the roundabout required significantly more right of way; a roundabout ma not have been as safe as many other roundabouts due to the steep grades in the area.”

Burr said upgrading the signal and adding the turn lanes will cost about $4.1 million. He said the roundabout would have cost upward of $6.3 million.

The design is still in the early stages with construction expected in 2021.


Bend PD/DCSO Joint Traffic Sting Set for Thursday

Bend Police and the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Community Action Target Team on Thursday will run a focused traffic enforcement detail on Highway 97 north of Bend.

The team will focus on the highway between Deschutes Junction and Cooley Road, keeping an eye out for distracted drivers, speeding, following too closely, seat belt violations and careless driving.

Preliminary crash data through 2017 from the Oregon Department of Transportation shows that in this particular area, drivers are driving too fast and following too closely.  These two factors were established as being the primary cause of crashes in this area.

The goal is to help drivers understand the importance of following posted speed signs, while encouraging them to be attentive and safe behind the wheel.

“It’s very busy and we have high volume of crashes in that area and so it’s a good opportunity for us to make sure drivers realize that they need to slow down and they need to pay attention to the road,” said Bend Police Lt. Juli McConkey.

She said police provide advance notice for this type of operation, because it encourages drivers everywhere to obey the rules of the road.

“Even though we advise them ahead of time, there are still folks out there who are violating the law,” she said.

While Bend PD’s traffic division and the Sheriff’s Office Community Action Target Team have conducted similar joint operations in the past, this is the first time for this stretch of highway 97.




Tons of Fun, Plenty of Traffic – 100th Deschutes County Fair Begins

The 100th Deschutes County Fair officially started Wednesday – as if you hadn’t noticed all the traffic heading into Redmond. It’s the most-attended county fair in the state of Oregon with more than a quarter million people expected through the gates.

As the weekend approaches, fairgoers can expect traffic delays, a crowded parking lot – but also a lot of fun.

Central Oregon Daily’s Meghan Glova has more on what you can expect as you head to the fair.


Road Closures in Bend

Some big changes are in store for drivers on the City of Bend’s west and northeast sides as everyone comes back from the summer break.
The 14th Street Reconstruction Project is being funded by a voter-approved transportation bond that was passed back in 2011, but it’s just now entering it’s final phase of construction.
Beginning on Tuesday, the stretch of 14th street between Galveston Avenue and Albany Avenue will be closed in both directions, so detours will be in place to wind around to the west to avoid the construction. However, that isn’t the only road closure planned for Bend residents.
Beginning September 10th, Empire Avenue will be closed between 18th Street and Purcell for stage one of the Empire Corridor improvements. Those improvements will include reconstructing the existing roadway, widening Empire to include medians and a turn lane at Desert Sage, adding sidewalks and curbs, widening bike lanes, and installing new landscaping in between the curb and sidewalks.
This stretch of Empire is expected to be closed to all traffic until at least early December, and future projects could include a new roundabout at Empire and Purcell, and the extension of Empire all the way through from Purcell to 27th.

14th Street Reconstruction to Cause Delays

Southbound traffic was restricted along 14th Street between Galveston and Newport Avenues today as crews from Cascade Natural Gas are tearing up sections of the street in order to do some structural updates ahead of the city’s road restoration project. City crews are expected to start their work on April 2nd.

City crews will be working on 14th Street between Galveston and Newport Avenues and on Century Drive between Simpson and Albany Avenues in the coming weeks. The Simpson Avenue round a bout will also be closed as part of the project. The city has provided detours along Shevlin Park road, Skyliners Road and Mt Washington Drive for this project, which is meant to fix some failing infrastructure.

The 14th Street reconstruction is the final project of the city’s General Obligation Bond, which was passed by voters in 2011.

“This project is basically upgrading a lot of failing infrastructure to meet urban standards,” said project manager Garrett Sabourin. “So we’re reconstructing the road to basically have that same three lane and two lane configuration that you see today. With the addition of wider bike lanes, connected sidewalk, safer crossings and accessibility between the commercial and residential areas.”

Drivers will still have access to the businesses along Century Drive despite the closure of the Simpson round a bout. The round a bouts on Newport and Galveston Avenues will both remain open during construction.

The city is asking drivers to be cautious when navigating both the construction zones and the detours since they run through residential neighborhoods on the west side. Construction will also shut down two bus stops; one on west Kingston Avenue and one on 14th street. Transit riders can find out more about detours and stop closures on cascadetransit.com

The city will also be updating detours as needed and will be sending that information to the Google Waze app to help drivers find the fastest route.

City crews will primarily be working along century drive starting next week then will move down to work on 14th street. The entire project is estimated to take about 10 weeks to complete.