Two down. Two to go.
Half of the four new dual-lane roundabouts on Highway 20 between Bend and Tumalo are complete and fully open.
“Thank goodness. Couldn’t come sooner,” said Tumalo resident Rachel Cardwell.
One is at Robal Lane and Highway 20, which people use to access the Cascade Village Shopping Center. The second is little further west at the intersection of Cooley Road and Highway 20.
“It’s a lot nicer to go through the roundabouts than it is to sit there and wait for three sessions of traffic lights,” said Kerry Gibson from Sisters who drives into Bend about three times per week.
“They really help keep traffic moving,” said Kacey Davey, public information officer for the Oregon Department of Transportation. “They are safer for all users. Not just for cars but for bikes and pedestrians. It’s easier for them to move to one side or the other.”
Those roundabouts are the major features of the Highway 20 segment of the Bend North Corridor Project. That project will also move a portion of Highway 97 between Cooley Road and Empire Avenue to the east to improve traffic flow.
Two more roundabouts at Highway 20 and the Old Bend Redmond Highway, and Highway 20 in Tumalo are scheduled for completion by November 1.
That timeline tickles Cardwell.
“I’m real pleased with the project. I can’t wait for them all to be open. I think it’s going to be an incredible difference for people who use this every day,” Cardwell said.
The bicycle and pedestrian tunnel under Highway 20 in Tumalo is open. We chanced into a cyclist who was taking a first under the highway. He said he’d tell his cycling buddies.
“People will start to see construction slowing down on the Highway 20 side around town, but then next spring we’re going to be doing more construction on Bend North Corridor on the 97 side so people will notice that moving forward,” Davey said.
Drivers need to remember the rules of multi-lane roundabouts:
- Slow down
- Look around
- Be ready to yield
- Pick a lane and stay in that lane
- Don’t drive alongside trucks and large commercial vehicles