- Widen the highway by 6-8’ to the west and install concrete median barrier from Baker Road to Lava Butte, with the exception of in front of the High Desert Museum
- Repave approximately 4.6 miles of highway from Romaine Village Way to the weigh station
- Upgrade signs and guardrails, as necessary, and install shoulder rumble strips
Project Information Paper Vicinity Map
Why this project is needed
U.S. 97 is a critical part of the State’s transportation system and is a major north-south freight corridor that links California and Washington. This section of highway is an important commuter route between Bend, Sunriver and La Pine. Keeping the roads in good condition and providing a safe, efficient transportation system that supports economic opportunity is a critical aspect of the mission for the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT).
In the last ten years there have been 87 reported crashes between where the existing concrete median barrier ends south of Baker Road and where it begins again near Lava Butte. Of these reported crashes, eight have been head-on and three have been swipe crashes, resulting in five deaths and numerous injuries.
The section of U.S. 97 between Romaine Village Way and the weigh station is showing signs of rutting and extensive wear.
What is planned
In order to install the concrete median barrier, the highway will need to be widened 6-8’ to the west to maintain adequate shoulder width. Once the widening is completed, the concrete barrier will be installed. There will be a gap in the barrier to facilitate visitor traffic at the High Desert Museum. There will also be an emergency services and snow plow turnaround near Lava Butte. Once completed, the median barrier will reduce serious cross over crashes.
The section of highway between Romaine Village Way and the weigh station will have a 2” grind out and then repaved with a 2” dense asphalt inlay. Shoulder rumble strips will be installed once the paving is completed. Signs and guardrails will be upgraded where needed.
Traffic control during construction
Most of the work will be done at night to reduce the impacts on traffic. However, some work will be done during the day and there could be lane closures and/or short delays.
Timeline and Estimated Project Cost
The estimated project cost is $5.5 million.