On September 16, 2014, the Federal Highway Administration signed the Record of Decision for the project, documenting the East DS2 Modified Alternative as the Selected Alternative for the US 97 Bend North Corridor Project, and completing the National Environmental Policy Act process.
In August 2014, the Oregon Department of Transportation reached a major project milestone with the publication of the project’s Final Environmental Impact Statement. The Final Environmental Impact Statement includes ODOT’s responses to comments on the draft.
Why is this Project Needed?
- U.S. 97 is highly congested during peak hours.
- Traffic flow is worsening, with drivers having to wait longer at signals.
- Travel delays on U.S. 97 are expected to worsen with future growth.
- Severe injury and fatal crashes are increasing on U.S. 97.
- The intersections of U.S. 97 at Robal Road and US 97 at Cooley Road have more accidents than similar intersections in the state.
Like many residents of Bend and central Oregon, you probably rely on U.S. 97 in the north end of Bend for a variety of reasons. It may be a way to get to and from your home or work, or a connection to area shopping and dining. It may be a route for moving people and goods through Central Oregon, or a key part of the transportation system for Bend's future planning and growth. It may be a route to bring freight and customers to and from your business.
U.S. 97 in the north end of Bend serves all of these purposes and more. And that is part of the problem - we are asking the highway to be too many things. The tremendous population growth in Bend and central Oregon has placed many demands on U.S. 97. This has increased congestion, caused disruptions in traffic flow, made traffic delays longer and increased the number of severe and fatal accidents. Even with the economic downturn beginning in 2008, the population of Bend is still expected to grow and with this growth, traffic on U.S. 97 will increase over time.
The purpose of the U.S. 97 Bend North Corridor project was to identify and implement a long-term solution to maintain a safe, efficient US 97 in the north end of Bend. Since federal funding will be required for this project, ODOT and Federal Highway Administration prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement that examined in detail and compared the environmental and community impacts and benefits of two build alternatives (East DS1 Alternative and East DS2 Alternative) and the No Build Alternative.
After the public comment period that ended on September 12, 2011, ODOT and Federal Highway Administration considered all comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement to help identify the best solution (East DS2 Modified Alternative) for balancing our transportation needs now and into the future. ODOT and Federal Highway Administration worked with local agency partners to explore opportunities to scale down and modify the alternatives to reduce impacts, address public comments, and reduce the overall cost of the project.
U.S. 97 corridor north of Bend
Cost and Funding
This project was awarded a federal INFRA Grant for 60.4 million dollars. These funds will be leveraged with 50 million dollars from the Cooley Mid-term Improvements Project (21229) in addition to various local and developer funds.
The total funding for this project is 133.4 million dollars.