Starting February 22, the busy intersection of Purcell Boulevard and Neff Road will be closing for several months.
It’s part of a larger improvement project on Purcell and it’s happening at an intersection that is regularly overcapacity.
“We’ve got some improvements we need to make,” engineering director for the City of Bend Ryan Oster said. “Those improvements are primarily focused on building missing gaps of sidewalks, making the crossings safer, and for those who travel by vehicle, they know this can be a pretty backed up intersection.”
Neighborhoods surround the heavily-trafficked corridor. It’s also right down the street from St. Charles Hospital, making it a regular thoroughfare for emergency vehicles.
While the city says the road will be closed off to the public, it has made exceptions for emergencies.
“We’re putting a response plan in place where they can reach out to us on their way,” Oster said. “We could put a metal plate over an open ditch, whatever it may be. Move equipment out of the way. And make sure we can allow them to get to the hospital as quickly as possible.”
For some nearby residents, the project sounds like an inconvenience.
“Man, I think that it’s B.S.,” nearby resident Quarter Novicoff said.
“I have a lot of homies who live here. It’s gonna be a nightmare. Especially if this is all closed, because I gotta pick them up. They’re lazy. They can’t drive nothing. And I gotta spend all day just picking them up,” resident Tyrone Barfumola said.
The closure is projected to last until mid-summer.
A pre-construction public meeting will be held Feb. 2 from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. at the Deschutes Children’s Foundation, East Campus, 2125 NE Daggett Lane. There will be no formal program, but stations will be set up to ask project team managers questions. So you can arrive at any time during those two hours.