FHWA Signs the Record of Decision
On September 16, 2014, FHWA signed the Record of Decision (ROD)
for the project, documenting the East DS2 Modified Alternative as the Selected Alternative for the US 97 Bend North Corridor Project, and completing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process.ODOT Publishes Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)
On August 8, 2014, ODOT reached a major project milestone with the publication of the project’s Final EIS
. The Final EIS includes ODOT’s responses to comments on the Draft EIS
There are currently no large funding sources identified to for the US 97 Bend North Corridor Solutions project. ODOT is considering completing individual, small pieces of this project, like intersection improvements, as funding becomes available. ODOT will make more information available if such projects are planned.
Why is this Project Needed?
- US 97 is highly congested during peak hours.
- Traffic flow is worsening, with drivers having to wait longer at signals.
- Travel delays on US 97 are expected to worsen with future growth.
- Severe injury and fatal crashes are increasing on US 97.
- The intersections of US 97 at Robal Road and US 97 at Cooley Road have more accidents than similar intersections in the state.
Like many residents of Bend and central Oregon, you probably rely on US 97 in the north end of Bend for a variety of reasons. It may be a way to get to and from your home or work, or a connection to area shopping and dining. It may be a route for moving people and goods through Central Oregon, or a key part of the transportation system for Bend's future planning and growth. It may be a route to bring freight and customers to and from your business.
US 97 in the north end of Bend serves all of these purposes and more. And that is part of the problem - we are asking the highway to be too many things. The tremendous population growth in Bend and central Oregon has placed many demands on US 97. This has increased congestion, caused disruptions in traffic flow, made traffic delays longer and increased the number of severe and fatal accidents. Even with the economic downturn beginning in 2008, the population of Bend is still expected to grow and with this growth, traffic on US 97 will increase over time.
The purpose of the US 97 Bend North Corridor project was to identify and implement a long-term solution to maintain a safe, efficient US 97 in the north end of Bend. Since federal funding will be required for this project, ODOT and FHWA prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that examined in detail and compared the environmental and community impacts and benefits of two build alternatives (East DS1 Alternative and East DS2 Alternative) and the No Build Alternative.
After the public comment period that ended on September 12, 2011, ODOT and FHWA considered all comments on the Draft EIS to help identify the best solution (East DS2 Modified Alternative) for balancing our transportation needs now and into the future. ODOT and FHWA worked with local agency partners to explore opportunities to scale down and modify the alternatives to reduce impacts, address public comments, and reduce the overall cost of the project.