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Bend, Redmond crews work to keep roads clear


The never-ending battle to keep the High Desert’s roads clear is on yet again.

“(For) this storm coming in, we’re transitioning to two 12-hour shifts for 24-hour coverage,” David Abbas, director of streets and operations for the city of Bend, said Tuesday.

Independent contractors could also be called in again to help.

“Any time we call out the contractors citywide, it’s basically $100,000 every time we make that phone call, for just one day (of) help,” Abbas said.

The price tag for last month’s storm was about $275,000. The department also has won approval to dip into its reserves, if needed.

Redmond crews will also be clearing around the clock. But some residents say it’s not enough.

“There’s a lot of elderly residents here, especially on this street, and I’ve seen cars here that haven’t moved in a month’s time because people are just scared to get out on the road,” Redmond resident Kim Fritz said.

Redmond Transportation Division Manager Rob Peters said the city only has $50,000 budgeted for independent contractors.

“People want their neighborhoods cleared at the same time, and that’s just not realistic,” Peters said. “We’ve got to work the priority routes, the emergency routes, the bus routes to get the kids to and from school.”

Fritz said she’s happy with the main roads, but is dreading what this storm will bring to her neighborhood.

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