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Bend underpasses cleaned weekly of human waste


Last fall, NewsChannel 21 reported on pedestrian safety concerns in Bend’s Franklin Avenue underpass.

But who’s responsible for cleaning up the city’s underpasses?

The city of Bend’s Streets Department has spent lots of time over the years doing just that.

Every Monday or Tuesday, a crew cleans up the Franklin and Greenwood avenue underpasses, as well as the Third Street underpass, near the railroad.

Then, once or twice a year, the sidewalks are pressure-washed to clean off a year of debris.

But it’s not just candy wrappers and bottle caps, city Streets and Operations Director David Abbas said Thursday.

“It’s a variety of things. Human waste, biohazard, sometimes feces, urine, drug paraphernalia, needles, that kind of thing. And garbage,” Abbas said.

Occasionally, the crew has to work around the homeless people who spend time in the tunnels. But recently, a group called Project Underpass announced plans to clean up the tunnel and turn it into an art installation.

The project still needs approval from the city.

The city of Bend also is working on plans to make Third Street more pedestrian-friendly — and when that happens, the Franklin underpass will likely get a makeover.

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