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ODOT proposes closing dangerous Highway 97-Bear Drive, Eureka Lane intersections south of Madras

ODOT proposes closing Bear Drive, Eureka Lane intersections on Hwy. 97 south of Madras
ODOT proposes closing Bear Drive, Eureka Lane intersections on Hwy. 97 south of Madras

MADRAS, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Jefferson County and the Oregon Department of Transportation are hosting a public meeting Wednesday evening to talk about the proposal to close Bear Drive and Eureka Lane at U.S. Highway 97 south of Madras.

Along with these closures, ODOT wants to make safety improvements at Dover Lane.

Meeting attendees will hear about...

  • What's included in the proposal?
  • How would this make the area safer?

ODOT will also be taking comments and answering questions.

Wednesday, April 28th at 6 p.m.

Where: Madras Performing Arts Center 412 Buff Street in Madras

You can also join us virtually!

Click here to see Zoom meeting information and more details on the proposal at our website. 

Summary from that page:

It is important to highlight that the work described here is only a proposal, and a communication plan is in place to gather feedback from the community. Both ODOT and Jefferson County will use the feedback to determine next steps. 

There is a history of serious and fatal accidents at the intersections of Bear Drive and U.S. 97, including multiple fatalities occurring there in 2020 alone.  

ODOT is proposing a closure of Bear Drive where it intersects with U.S. 97 on the east and west sides of the highway. Closing these roads would eliminate the intersection-related crashes in this area. 

However, closing just Bear Drive could shift these same issues to Eureka Lane.  Eureka has poor visibility, and its presence near the end of a passing lane where higher speeds exist creates additional safety concerns. Due to these issues, the closure of the Eureka Lane and U.S.97 intersection would also be required.  

Corridor planning efforts on U.S. 97 in areas with increasing traffic generally includes closure of some highway access points, along with improvements at other intersections.  U.S. 97 at Dover Lane is the best choice to improve in this area because of its location and visibility.   Safety improvements would include left turn lanes, advanced warning signs, and improved delineation. U.S. 97 and Iris Lane was recently improved to the south of this area, and includes dedicaded turn lanes. 

These closures will shift northbound U.S.97 traffic to choose alternate routes of OR 361 or Ford Lane to reach their original destinations.  Southbound U.S.97 traffic will be shifted to Dover Lane, which has better sight distance, making it safer. ​

Have questions? Contact Kacey Davey, ODOT Community Affairs at or call (541)280-2716. 

Accidents and Crashes / Government-politics / Jefferson County / Top Stories

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  1. Yeah man, the people turning left on Bear that stop on the highway right after the passing lane ends… that’s some crazy stuff right there.

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