Also get update on city's prep for another winter ahead
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The city of Bend is once again taking a look at improving Reed Market Road, and the possible projects haven't gotten any cheaper since the first phase of work.
Wednesday night, councilors got an update on what the future could hold for the heavily traveled route.
Back in 2006, the city studied the corridor and identified several issues with the road, and five years later, a bond-funded improvement project happened.
But many residents who expected to see a four-lane thoroughfare all the way down the street were disappointed.
Now, the city's working on upgrades at the Third Street intersection and plan to start design work next year.
That could mean an expanded intersection or a roundabout.
City engineer Josh Robertson said another priority for the city is to better the railroad crossing, but the price tag is steep.
"One of the big ones that we hear a lot about is the rail crossing," Robertson said. "Because of the switch yard being in the city, you can get stopped at that rail crossing for up to 40 minutes or it could just be a five minutes, but you don't know once the train is there which one it's going to be, five or 40 minutes? And usually once you find out, it's too late to get off of Reed. So we hear a lot about the rail issue."
Susanna Julber, a senior project and policy analyst for the city, explained that the city didn't initially go to four lanes in part not to displace residents. She also noted that the 2006 study talked of a 20-year phasing of solutions along the route.
"People had expectations for that corridor that were a little different than we did, so we may have had a messaging issue," she said.
One thing is clear: More improvements on Reed Market will take millions of dollars and several years. A railroad overpass alone could cost more than $25 million.
The city is considering what projects to include in a transportation bond package they plan to send to voters next year. And the key east-west road could be a big part of that funding package.
Click here for Wednesday's presentation on the Reed Market Road project.
The city council also received an update on snow removal plans for the upcoming season.
Director of streets and operations David Abbas said each each year his department makes an effort to make improvements to the previous year.
He says they are working to make sure they have enough staffing for big snow events, as well as make a big push this year to have snow plowed curb to curb.
He says though during big snow storms it take the entire community to help clear the streets.
"It takes all of us to get through winter. Be prepared. if you can't handle your driveway or our sidewalk shoveling, our website has a ton of information on getting ready for winter. Some resources out there, you can look on Nextdoor or Craigslist, you know get someone lined up in advance if you need to," Abbas said. "And help each other out, help your neighbors."
Abbas says the city is also trying out a new snow gate on a plow to help eliminate burms.
Abbas also says to get cars off of streets if possible to help the snow clearing process as well.
Here's the department's presentation to councilors on snow removal plans.