This section of U.S. 20 between Empire Avenue (including Empire, which is part of U.S. 20, to the US 97 Bend Parkway) and Greenwood Avenue is a primary arterial running through the City of Bend. U.S. 20 is also a critical part of the State’s transportation system and a major east-west freight corridor between Oregon and Idaho. Keeping highways in good condition, and ensuring they are developed in contributing to a safe and efficient transportation system that supports livability and economic viability, is a primary aspect of the Oregon Department of Transportation's mission.
Improvements will likely occur in coordinated phases, beginning with replacing or upgrading signals and signs at each intersection between Empire and Greenwood. Sidewalks, bike lanes and new curbs will also be repaired or added, all to Americans with Disabilities Act standards. Additional improvements are planned for the U.S. 20/Mervin Samples Road and along Empire between 3rd Street and the Parkway interchange to add travel capacity and improve safety. Also repaving will occur throughout the corridor.
Key Project Components
- Bicycle/pedestrian rehabilitation: Infill sidewalks where they are currently absent, and construct (or define with pavement markings) bikes lanes and/or bicycle-pedestrian paths. Includes construction of new sidewalks, curbs, stormwater inlets and drainage piping and drainage. Construct marked pedestrian crossings including curbed medians. Also provide new signage and Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons at Vail Ave and Thurston Ave on Hwy 20 and at 4th and 6th Streets on Greenwood.
- Replace and Upgrade Signals: Replace aging traffic control signals at five intersections: Empire, O.B. Riley Road, River Mall Ave, Division St, and Greenwood, add vehicle detection and street lighting devices and incorporate improved design/ADA elements at each intersection.
- Mervin Sampels Improvements: Construct a new traffic signal at US 20 @ Mervin Sampels, extend Mervin Sampels Road east into the adjoining industrial area, to connect with Sherman Road and widen and improvement Mervin Sampels west of the intersection.
- Empire/Parkway Interchange Area: Add travel capacity and safety improvements along Empire, including a new traffic signal at the Parkway southbound on-ramp.
- ITS Upgrades: Install Intelligent Transportation System infrastructure including optical fiber for improved high-speed connectivity to the corridor traffic signals.
- Pavement preservation: Repave US 20/3rd Street from Empire to Greenwood. Upgrade ADA elements at each intersection. Replace/upgrade signs to current standards.
Highway 20/3rd Street from Empire Blvd. to Greenwood Ave. in Bend
Cost and Funding
Estimated construction cost: $10 million
What Problem Will This Improve?
The pavement along this corridor is showing severe rutting and wear, causing safety and operational issues. Several of the existing traffic signals within the corridor are beyond their functional design life, and the corridor is incomplete or insufficient in many locations for pedestrians and bicyclists. The intersections along Empire including and between 3rd Street and the Bend Parkway on and off-ramps have reached and capacity and needs safety improvements.