Skip to Content

Planning for SE Bend’s long-awaited Reed Market Road railroad overpass gets $1 million-plus federal boost

Traffic can back up at the Reed Market Road railroad crossing
KTVZ file
Traffic can back up at the Reed Market Road railroad crossing

(Update: Info, comments from city principal engineer)

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The Biden administration announced Monday it is handing out more than $570 million in grants to help eliminate railroad crossings in 32 states, just as the industry is increasingly relying on longer and longer trains to cut costs. One of those projects is in Bend: the Reed Market Road railroad overpass.

The grants announced Monday will help eliminate more than three dozen crossings that delay traffic and sometimes keep first responders from where help is desperately needed. There have been examples of ambulance delays resulting in a death and homes burning down while firefighters wait at a blocked crossing.

In addition, roughly 2,000 collisions are reported at railroad crossings every year. Nearly 250 deaths were recorded last year in those car-train crashes.

One of two Oregon grants was up to $1,050,000 to the city of Bend for the Reed Market Grade Separation Project Development.

"The proposed project will support project development activities to eliminate one crossing on Reed Market Road by building an overpass bridge for cars, bicycles, and pedestrians," the project summary stated.

"These crossing improvements on BNSF right-of-way target existing transportation safety and equity concerns, as well as barriers to opportunity within the Bend, Oregon community. The City of Bend is contributing 40 percent in non-Federal match funds," the federal statement said.

About $42 million from the $190 million Transportation "GO Bond" (general obligation) approved by voters in 2020 is dedicated to projects on the Reed Market Road corridor.

Design work is scheduled to begin this summer, but it's estimated it will take until the winter of 2030 to complete the corridor projects, according to the GO Bond dashboard.

The federal grants are part of a $3 billion program approved as part of the $1 trillion infrastructure law that President Joe Biden signed in 2021. That money will be handed out over five years.

Garrett Sabourin, principal engineer for the city of Bend, said the city has been applying for several federal grants.

Specifically on the overpass, Sabourin said they hope to break ground in 2026 and finish it the following year.

"If we can receive (more) federal funding tied to this project, it may allow us to do more with the bond dollars elsewhere in town and/or absorb some of the inflationary pressures we’re experiencing on projects over the past couple years," he said.

Article Topic Follows: Bend

Jump to comments ↓

The Associated Press

KTVZ news sources


KTVZ NewsChannel 21 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content