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U.S. 97 at Cherry Lane
Current News

Construction close to being completed
The U.S. 97 at Cherry Lane and the U.S. 26 at Dover Lane projects were combined into one construction contract.  The successful bidder for that contract was Knife River Corporation, Northwest.  Construction will began in late May and continue into October.

Hilltop Lane to close September 16 and 17
As part of the US 97 at Cherry Lane safety project, Hilltop Lane will be closed for two days in September due to construction activities. The closure is necessary to install new storm water pipe under the road.

This closure will take effect Tuesday, September 16 at 7 a.m. and run through Wednesday, September 17 at 5 p.m.
Hilltop Lane will close again for a half day the week of September 22 in order to repave the section of road affected by the pipe installation.
Motorists will be detoured to Cherry Lane and Meadowlark Lane.

Project Information Paper

Keep Yourself Informed
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Project Purpose

The purpose of this project is to address safety hazards along U.S. 97 in the vicinity of NE Cherry Lane without creating other significant safety issues in the area.  Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) is committed to working with Jefferson County, local residents and highway users to develop solutions that address the safety issues while still providing local access.

Project Location
The project is located approximately 3 miles north of Madras, Oregon.   See the vicinity map below for more detail. 
Vicinity Map  

Why this project is needed
Picture of US 97 at Cora Drive looking south towards Madras, Oregon.
US 97 at Cora Drive looking south toward Cherry Lane.

U.S. 97 is a critical part of the State’s transportation system.  This highway carries a large volume of traffic between the California and Washington borders and is classified as a statewide freight route.  U.S. 97 is equally important to local residents to access schools, shopping and getting farm products to market.  Keeping traffic moving and highways safe are critical parts of ODOT’s mission.
The section of U.S. 97 between NE Cherry Lane and NE Cora Drive has a significant crash history.  Over the last 10 years, from January 1999 to December 2008, there have been 14 reported crashes.  The crashes have resulted in two fatalities and one severe (life threatening) injury.  Eight of the 14 crashes occurred in the vicinity of the intersection of U.S. 97 and NE Cherry Lane; six occurred in the vicinity of the intersection of U.S. 97 and Cora Drive.  The intersection of U.S. 97 and NE Cora Drive was ranked as one of top 10% worst crash sites in Oregon in 2005-2007, and NE Cherry Lane was ranked as one of the top 15% worst crash sites in 2002 and 2003.  The rankings are based on crash frequency, crash rate, and crash severity. 
Factors that lead to the potential risk for a high number of severe crashes at the intersection of U.S. 97 and NE Cherry Lane include:
  • At the intersection of U.S. 97 and NE Cherry Lane, southbound vehicles on U.S. 97 are traveling at high speed aided by a climbing lane; there is limited visibility between the highway and the intersection. 
  • Vehicles traveling northbound on U.S. 97 turning left onto NE Cherry Lane stop in the travel lane and are not visible to traffic coming over the crest of the hill. 
  • Vehicles traveling southbound on U.S. 97 turning left onto NE Cherry Lane stop in the climbing lane, which is counterintuitive for drivers wishing to pass slower vehicles. 
  • Vehicles turning onto northbound U.S. 97 from NE Cherry Lane do not have adequate sight distance to the south. 
  • Vehicles travelling northbound on U.S. 97 have been observed by Oregon State Police officers to stop in the southbound climbing lane before turning left onto NE Cherry Lane, creating a very dangerous situation.
The following table summarizes the crash history at the different intersections over the past ten years: 
Crashes between 1/1999 and 12/2008
Crashes with injuries
Crashes with fatalities or serve injuries
US 97/NE Cherry Lane
US 97/NE Cora Drive

Below are some characteristics of the crashes:
64 % occurred at intersections                       79% occurred in dry conditions
57% were left turn collisions                          29% resulted in overturned vehicles
71% were either fatal or injury crashes (17 injured people)
Analysis of this data shows that most of the crashes are due to the lack of turning lanes, limited sight distance, and the proximity of the NE Cherry Lane intersection to the beginning and ending of a climbing lane.

ODOT and Jefferson County prefer Option 1A
A road safety audit was completed for the U.S. 97 at Cherry Lane project area in 2011. The report can be found in the Project Materials section below.
ODOT and Jefferson County reviewed the different options presented in the report and decided to move forward with Option 1A. This option would:
  • Remove the south bound passing lane on U.S. 97 at Cherry Lane
  • Widen U.S. 97 for turn pockets at Cherry Lane and Cora Drive
  • Realign Cora Drive with U.S. 97
  • Close and cul-de-sac Clark Drive at U.S. 97
  • Realign Clark Drive with Cora Drive
  • Flatten side slopes and remove barrier along the east side of U.S. 97 at Hilltop Lane
Public Outreach

Open Houses

Two project open houses have been held to date; one was on July 27, 2010 and the other was February 23, 2011.  The project team appreciates residents taking the time to come out and share their concerns and ideas. 
February 23, 2011 Open House Flyer 
Project Milestones

​Project Design ​2010-2013
​Bid Opening Spring 2014
​Construction ​Spring/Summer 2014
Project Materials
Option 1A (January 2013)
Option 1A (September 2011)
US 97 at Cherry Lane Safety Audit Report - pages 1-14 (4.8 MB)
US 97 at Cherry Lane Safety Audit Report - pages 15-31 (4.7 MB)
US 97 at Cherry Lane Safety Audit Report - Appendix (3.7 MB)
Revised preliminary options - February 2011
Revised preliminary options - January 2011 
Preliminary options - December 2010
Project Information Paper
US 97 at Cherry Lane Survey

ODOT Contacts
Title  Office Phone
Email address
​Bill Martin ​Project Coordinator, ODOT ​541-388-6183 william.f.martin@odot.state.or.us
Gary Farnsworth Area Manager
(541) 388-6071
Rex Holloway Community Liaison
(541) 388-6178