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Key ODOT project east of Bend will add roundabout at Hwy. 20 and Ward/Hamby roads

(Updated: adding video, comments from ODOT)

Nearly 80 crashes at busy intersection since 2013; 2 dead, 77 injured

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – A dangerous intersection east of Bend is changing, in an effort to save lives. The Oregon Department of Transportation will begin work Monday on a new roundabout at the intersection of U.S. Highway 20 and Ward and Hamby roads.

"This intersection has been high on our priority list," ODOT Region 4 spokesman Peter Murphy said Friday.

The single-lane roundabout is due for completion by next June.

At the intersection with Highway 20, travelers experience long delays on the side streets, coupled with congestion that leads to aggressive driving and crashes. Drivers often use the route to avoid busy 27th Street on Bend's Eastside and its stop lights.

Since 2013, there have been 79 crashes at the Highway 20-Hamby/Ward intersection. Two people died and 77 others were injured.

Murphy says the intersection's long record of crashes has led to the project.

"We think it's going to be a lot safer, and that's what we're after," Murphy told NewsChannel 21. "That's what is really our goal for this particular intersection. We've seen problems and we want to fix them."

ODOT’s Region 4 project development team, in partnership with Deschutes County, evaluated the site and concluded that a roundabout is the best way to reduce crashes at the intersection.

Traffic studies show that roundabouts can reduce fatal and severe injury crashes by up to 80 percent.

The total project cost, including planning, engineering design, right-of-way acquisition and construction, is about $6 million $6 million.

As work continues, detours will be in place.

Murphy says this project has been in the works for years and ODOT is excited to get started.

"We're really happy that we're finally having a project that's coming to the ground -- that people can actually see and then drive," he said.

Marcum and Sons, the general contractor for the project, is scheduled to begin work with site surveys and temporary sign installation.

For more information, ODOT has posted 3-D visualizations and a project video online at:

KTVZ news sources



    1. If you’re concerned about a flashing light on the side of a vehicle that’s heading in your direction consider using Uber or something else where you’re not the driver

  1. Seriously? $6 million? I understand the picture; seriously E/W trucking route, so this intersection needs to be very open, wide roundabout to accommodate big rigs, including double trailers.

    1. These 12 sections of non connected sidewalk outweigh the needs of a transcontinental US hwy, havent you been paying attention? Odot is going to force the state to provide pedestrian facilities even where its non sensical, meanwhile they have yet to fix our long lived urban freeway crosswalks with a verifiable track record of death too (unlike some hamby road sidewalk that doesnt even exist)… i love walking but lets do it right

  2. Someone made out like a bandit on the right of way aquisition. But this can’t come soon enough. Seen enough wrecks there over the past 25 years. So many that I quit using that route. Like literally playing Russian roulette. At least I can get across now without fear of being smashed by impatient drivers.

  3. Much needed I think. I do hope it is not as large as the rendering shows. I know tractor-trailers need to get through but I’ve found the larger the diameter, the faster people drive through them, which makes it difficult to zipper-merge – I think this is one of the problems with the Reed Market & SW Bond roundabout. The Sisters roundabout seems the right size and I usually have no problem entering from any direction.

    1. A body can blow through the old weigh station out past Rickard Road at full highway speed; it will be interesting to see what the new roundabout can handle.

    1. If they are doing it for safety that’s in question. More than likely they are getting that area prepped for all the new housing that at some point will be built between Bear Creek and hwy 20

      1. and for the new dump rumored to be at Hwy 20/Rickard junction. Thus the vastly over the top paving of Rickard. I travel through the subject junction 2 or 3 times per week, driving and cycling. Yesterday, just by coincidence, I was driving towards Bend and as I approached Ward/Hamby, a car pull across from Hamby to Ward, with maybe 1.5 seconds to spare as I drove through. Traffic was not heavy, and if he had waited for me to pass, he had no traffic to deal with. Bend drivers are becoming very Impatient and Aggressive. It is much worse in town; people cannot wait for an extra 10 seconds.

  4. 6 million dollars for a round about that claim for fame is it slows down traffic, makes Americans less productive and thus raise the cost of goods for everyone.

    Or would a better solution be a 6 million dollar interchange that would be safer, facilitate more efficient traffic flow, increase American productivity and thus lower the costs of goods for everyone?

    Only government would choose a round about over and interchange because government is not about making your life more efficient and free, government is opposed to freedom and a better life for you.

    1. As we’ve reported and others have talked of here, roundabout keep traffic flowing and have far fewer serious crashes, fatal or otherwise. There are tradeoffs – you have to be alert/have your wits about you, following the rules/using turn signals when exiting would be nice – but I don’t miss sitting in a long line of idling cars.

          1. I work out at the airport. In 6 years living in Bend and using this route (both Highway 20 & Ward/Hamby from both directions) I have seen the sheriff there once clearing out homeless, and OSP one time with a semi pulled over by the substation. Other than that it has been incident response due to a fatality or injury accident. Even once the speed limit changed or was finally displayed on a sign, they have never posted a unit there to catch people accelerating to 65+ mph from a 35 zone leaving the 27th/US20 intersection area before they get to the Hamby/20/Ward intersection. To have vehicles traveling at those speeds with cross-traffic is just asking for fatalities. I am happy for a circle for sure.

    2. I agree that an interchange makes far more sense on a major highway. Lots of fuel and time will be wasted slowing down for the roundabout and then accelerating again leaving it.

    3. ????? Because red lights don’t slow down traffic? In fact, they stop it. Roundabouts are superior in every way. That’s an intersection with a bad track record safety-wise, and backs up terribly on Ward/Hamby when trying to cross, or even merge onto 20. Lately I’ve given up using it and head over to Erikson. I can’t think of a better use of government funds.

    4. An interchange would cost far more than $6 million due to the structure going over the highway. An interchange also has a much larger footprint, thus more right of way costs.

  5. Costs ranged from $10,000 for a retrofit application of an existing traffic circle to $500,000 for a new roundabout at the junction of two State highways. The National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Synthesis 264 (3) reports that the average construction cost of 14 U.S. roundabouts, none being part of an interchange, was approximately $250,000. This amount includes all construction elements, but does not include land acquisition.

    WHY??? Is ODOT saying $6 million.
    That is ridiculous. Even $1 million
    would be too much.

    I am not saying that something does it need to be done at that intersection. I just can’t understand why it would cost at least 6 times more than anywhere else in the US.
    How can ODOT get away with this??

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