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OR 126: MP 97 to Rimrock Way
Project Components:
  • Repave 14 miles of  OR 126 from milepost 97 (four miles east of Sisters) to Rimrock Way in Redmond
  • Construct a left hand turn lane at the intersection of OR 126 and SW Helmholtz Way
  • Manage access within the left turn lane area at SW Helmholtz Way
  • Construct a frontage road along OR 126 at SW Helmholtz Way
  • Structurally upgrade the Deschutes River Bridge on OR 126 and resurface the Cline Falls Highway Overpass Bridge at the intersection of OR 126 and the Cline Falls Highway
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Why does Oregon need this project?
Highway OR 126 is a major east /west route between the Willamette Valley and Central Oregon.  Keeping the highway safe and the pavement in good condition is a critical part of the mission for the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT). 
Pavement Conditions
Currently, the highway between milepost 97 to Rimrock Way in Redmond is delaminating and cracking and has numerous potholes.  The last time this section of highway was paved was 1993.  Typical pavement sections are designed for a 15 year life.  When this project goes to construction in 2009, it will have reached its design life.  Poor pavement conditions like rutting allows water and ice to collect on the road surface causing slippery road conditions which is a serious safety issue.  Potholes and de-lamination in the roadway present safety as well as a car maintenance issues. 
Crashes at the Intersection of OR 126 and SW Helmholtz Way
The intersection of OR 126 and SW Helmholtz Way has been on the Safety Priority Index System (SPIS) list for several years (1998 – 2006) ranging in the top 10 to 15%.  SPIS is a method developed by ODOT for identifying high crash locations on state highways. The SPIS score is based on three years of crash data and considers crash frequency, crash rate, and crash severity. ODOT bases its scores on 0.10 mile segments to account for variances in how crash locations are reported. To become a SPIS site, a location must meet one of the following criteria:
  • Three or more crashes at the same location over the previous three years, or
  • One or more fatal crashes at the same location over the previous three years.
There were 28 crashes reported at this intersection from January 1995 to the end of December 2005.  Four crashes resulted in severe injuries.  No fatalities were reported during this timeframe.  Fifty-seven percent of the crashes at the intersection involved left turning vehicles and resulted in two crashes with severe injuries.  Twenty-nine percent involved disregarding a stop sign from a side street, of which two resulted in severe injury crashes.
Bridge Conditions
Not only are the roadways important to ODOT but bridges need to be constantly monitored and maintained to ensure they meet current standards and can carry appropriate traffic loads.  Two bridges in the Project area are showing signs of wear and tear and need to be repaired and/or upgraded.

How does ODOT propose to solve these problems?
All travel lanes and shoulders on OR126 between the MP97 and Rimrock Way will be ground out and resurfaced.  This will solve the rutting and other pavement problems the roadway is experiencing.
A left turn lane on OR126 will be constructed at SW Helmholtz Way to address the safety issues at this intersection.  In addition to the left turn lane, we are improving safety through access management.  To prevent head-on crashes, access will be eliminated from driveways adjacent to the left hand turn lane.  By eliminating these driveways drivers making left hand turns off of OR 126 will not unexpectedly meet on-coming vehicles turning onto the highway.  To mitigate the closing of driveways, a frontage road will be constructed to provide access to SW Helmholtz Way and OR 126.
The project will also improve the signing which includes adding flashers to “Stop Ahead” signs on SW Helmholtz Way.  This addition should increase drivers’ awareness that they are approaching a major intersection and need to stop. 
To maintain current bridge standards within this section of highway, cross beam strengthening, bridge rail retrofits and the installation of end panels (concrete bridge approaches) will occur for the Deschutes River Bridge, and bridge deck sealing to repair the existing concrete will occur on the Cline Falls Road Overpass Bridge.

Projected Construction Cost

Key Project Milestones
Field survey, environmental clearances – Spring 2007
Preliminary design – Summer 2007
Right of Way acquisition – Fall 2007
Final Design – Winter 2007
Bid Let – Spring 2008
Construction – Summer 2008

ODOT Key Contacts

TitleOffice Phone
Email address
Stephanie SerpicoConsultant Project Manager
(541) 388-6309
Gary FarnsworthArea Manager
(541) 388-6071
Rex HollowayCommunity Liaison  Rep.
(541) 388-6178