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Long-sought Crooked River Ranch second exit opens


There is now finally more than one way in and one way out of Crooked River Ranch. Decades of discussion have led to the construction and recent opening of of a mile-long road connecting Northwest Quail and Lower Bridge roads.

Getting the project off the ground took the cooperation of several agencies — and a sizable amount of money. Those are two of the main reasons it took so long to happen.

But for Carl Harbour, president of the Crooked River Ranch Homeowners Association Board, that cooperation is one of the best parts of the project’s realization.

“To see a successful project happen between a bunch of intergovernmental agencies, like the BLM and Deschutes County and Jefferson County and the homeowners association, all working together for a common purpose — it was really satisfying to me,” Harbour said Monday.

Construction started in August after Robinson and Owen Heavy Construction won the bid at $639,000.

The two counties and the HOA Board are chipping in a total of $200,000 to help pay for the road. The rest will be covered by an increase in annual HOA fees.

Former board president George Mitchener said the fires in California exemplify the importance for Crooked River Ranch to have an alternative exit.

“I think the current situation with fires in California is really, really a very good idea of what can happen when you have very limited access,” he said. “You have people that are backed up, and all of a sudden the fire’s running up behind them. So we wanted to do whatever we could do to make things at least a little easy.”

Mitchener said that according to Oregon law, a development of this size is required to have two entrances.

Even if it’s not an emergency — everyday events can pose problems when there’s only one way in and one way out, according to another former president, David Palmer.

“Just the other day, there was an accident over on the original entrance (road) that was blocking people from coming in and out,” Palmer said. “o having this as an alternative for people to come or go is super-important.

The new road is complete, except for some fencing. An official ribbon-cutting for the project is scheduled for noon on Tuesday, Nov. 27.

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