Work on the Bend North Corridor is set to begin this fall as businesses along U.S. 97 scramble to find ways to adapt to the changes the construction will bring.
Backroads that allow access to the businesses are becoming a new section of the highway, potentially disrupting business operations.
Instant Landscaping is being relocated due to the project.
“They [ODOT] acquire the property and try to be as fair as they can so a business owner can purchase space,” owner Tim Larocco said. “That’s the huge challenge in Oregon. There’s like, none.”
Instant landscaping is still trying to finalize a deal with the state. If the two sides can’t come to a deal, ODOT says there are options.
“For any reason we can’t come to an agreement, property owners have other avenues they can pursue,” Kacey Davey with ODOT said. “We always offer fair market value for any properties we do need to acquire through projects.”
ODOT says changes will be made to both U.S. 97 and the Highway 20 side as well. Two roundabouts will be added at Robal Lane and Cooley Road. Roundabouts will reduce serious crashes in the intersection and provide a continuous mode of travel, Davey said.
For Highway 97, anticipated benefits will include:
- faster travel times
- better accessibility to transit
- improvements to pedestrian and bicycle safety