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US 97 - Jct. OR 31 to Crescent

Current News
The second phase of this project was awarded to Oregon Mainline Paving in May 2011.  The preliminary construction schedule for this $2.7 million project follows:

Activity  Timeframe*
Install temporary signing and traffic control devices  2nd week of June
Construct storm drainage in Crescent  mid-June
Construct sidewalks and curbs in Crescent  July to mid-August
Grind and repave US 97 in Gilchrist and Crescent  mid-August
Install weather station and camera in Crescent  August
Install rumble strips from junction OR 31 to Gilchrist    September
Landscaping in Crescent  October
  *Dates are subject to change and dependent on weather.
ODOT is opening a construction office in Gilchrist for the duration of the project.  It is located at
150 Mountain View Drive.   Bill Martin is the ODOT Construction Coordinator and can be reached at (541) 815-6864
Traffic control during construction
Beginning in June, the center turn lane in Crescent will be temporarily eliminated and traffic will be limited to one lane in each direction until mid-August.  Access to businesses will be maintained and will be designated with blue cones and signs. 
The paving in Crescent and Gilchrist in August will be done at night.  Rumble strips in the center of the highway will be done at night, while shoulder rumble strips will be installed during the day.
For the most current construction news please visit the Region 4 (Central Oregon) Newsroom.  For the most current traffic conditions in the project area, visit TripCheck.com.  If you would like to receive email alerts for construction activities, please feel free to contact Rex Holloway at (541) 388-6178. 
Vicinity Map                                                        
Project information paper

Project Components:
Grinding and paving on US 97 in the project area, summer 2009.
Grinding and paving in the project area, summer 2009.
Phase 1, US 97: OR31 Jct. – South City Limits Crescent
  • Repave approximately 16 miles of US 97 between the junction of OR 31 to the south end of Crescent
  • Change the lane configuration in Crescent from 4 lanes to 2 lanes with a dedicated center turn lane
Phase 1 of the project was awarded to Hooker Creek of Bend, Oregon in May, 2009.  All work in the first phase was completed in 2009. 
Phase 2, US 97: OR31 Jct. – Crescent Ranger Station (scheduled for 2011)
  • Install sidewalks and landscaped strips in Crescent
  • Improve storm water drainage in Crescent
  • Construct a southbound, right turn, deceleration lane at the Crescent Cutoff Road in Crescent
  • Install centerline and shoulder rumble strips from junction of OR 31 to north limits of Gilchrist
  • Widen paved shoulders north of Gilchrist to north limits of Crescent
  • Repave approximately 2.4 miles of US 97 between Mississippi Avenue to just south of the Crescent Cutoff Road
  • Install cameras and a weather station at the Crescent Cutoff Road junction (to be available on TripCheck.com).

Why this Project is Needed
Highway US 97 is a critical part of the state’s transportation system.  US 97 carries a large volume of traffic from the Washington to the California border.  Keeping the pavement in good condition is a critical part of the mission for the Oregon Department of Transportation.  

Currently, US 97 from the junction of OR 31 to the south end of Crescent is rutting and beginning to break apart.   The last time this section of US 97 was paved was 1993.  Typical pavement sections are designed for a 15-year life.  Poor pavement condition, like rutting, allows water and ice to collect on the road surface.  This causes slippery road conditions and is a serious safety issue.  Potholes and de-lamination in the roadway present a safety issue as well as a vehicle maintenance issue.
Within the town of Crescent, there are very few defined walkways (sidewalks) for pedestrians.   Currently pedestrians walk on the shoulder of the roadway or a gravel surface behind a concrete curb.  This is not only hazardous; it is unacceptable for pedestrians with disabilities.
When ODOT was scoping the project, concern was expressed about how fast cars and trucks were traveling through the community of Crescent.  Many people felt that cars and trucks were using the four lanes through Crescent as passing lanes which caused excessive speeds through town, often faster than the posted 40 miles per hour speed limit.  ODOT was asked to analyze a two lane section with a dedicated left turn lane through town in lieu of the current four lanes configuration.
US 97 is classified as an “expressway” and a major freight corridor.  By definition, access to the highway is controlled (limited) and must be under permit.  Unauthorized multiple accesses in the same area and poorly designed access points (i.e. poor site distance) can slow traffic and be a safety issue for travelers on US 97 and people entering/exiting the highway.  Accesses within sidewalks are also hazards to pedestrians because of potential conflicts with vehicles.

ODOT Proposal to Solve the Problems
All travel lanes on US 97 between the junction of OR 31 (mp169.7) and the south end of Crescent (mp185.7) will be ground out and resurfaced and shoulders will be widened.  This will solve the rutting and other pavement problems the roadway is experiencing.  This work was completed in 2009.
Approximately 4200 feet (total) of curbing and sidewalks along both sides of US 97 will be built in Crescent.  This will make a safe place for pedestrians and people with disabilities to travel. The sidewalk will also help define the community of Crescent to the traveling public.  Drainage will be included in the design to remove standing water from the highway. Also, a landscape strip will be constructed between the curb and gutter and the sidewalk.
US 97 as it passes through Crescent will be reduced from four to three lanes (one north and one south travel lane, and a center turn lane).  This will eliminate vehicles accelerating while passing through the community of Crescent.  The center turn lane will also remove turning vehicles from the travel lane making it safer for turning movements.
At the junction of US 97 and Crescent Cutoff in Crescent, a southbound deceleration lane will be constructed.  This will allow southbound US 97 traffic turning right onto the Crescent Cutoff to move right and get out of the main travel lane.  In addition, a Road, Weather Information System (RWIS) site will be constructed near the Crescent Cutoff junction.  The site will provide road and weather information which will be available to the traveling public at TripCheck.com
The sidewalks, turning lane, drainage improvements, rumble strips and installation of the RWIS site are scheduled for 2011.
Accesses along this section of US 97 will be reviewed for permits and safety, especially in the town of Crescent where sidewalks are being built.  This will reduce the number of conflict points on the highway and reduce the conflicts between vehicles and pedestrians.

Citizen Involvement
ODOT met several times with the Crescent Community Action Team during development and implementation of this project.  Community interest and input was appreciated.
ODOT Public Workshop Held October 11, 2007
Twenty residents from the Gilchrist and Crescent area attended the workshop on October 11. Stephanie Serpico, Project Manager with ODOT, gave a presentation on the US 97: Junction OR 31 to south of Crescent Project.  Residents were asked for feedback on sidewalk options for Crescent.  A big thanks to all of the folks who came out and participated in the workshop.
Meeting notes and Crescent options  
Workshop flier 

Estimated Construction Costs
Phase 1 – $4.6 million for the paving and lane reconfiguration in Crescent completed in 2009
Phase 2 – approximately $3.5 million

Key Project Milestones

Phase 1
Phase 2
Field survey, environmental clearances  
Summer 2007
Summer 2007
Preliminary design
Fall 2007
Fall 2007
Right-of-Way acquisition
Final design
Spring/Summer 2008/09  
Fall/Winter 2010/11
Contract let date
Winter 2008/09
Spring 2011
Spring/Summer 2009
Summer 2011

ODOT Key Contacts

 Name  Title  Office Phone
 Bill Martin   Assistant Project Manager  (541) 815-6864
 Ron Snell   Project Manager  (541) 388-6064
 Rex Holloway  Community Liaison Representative  (541) 388-6178

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