Skip to Content

Area residents want railroad crossing safety addressed in Wickiup Junction plan

(Update: Adding video, comments from ODOT, concerned citizen)

LA PINE, Ore. (KTVZ) -- After the Oregon Department of Transportation opened up its proposed Wickiup Junction refinement plan to public comment last month, residents said the current plan does not adequately address railroad crossing safety.

ODOT said it has been challenging for some time for people to safely cross Highway 97 at the location north of La Pine. It asked for community input in a virtual open house.

"We had general support for all of the options we suggested," Kacey Davey, community affairs coordinator for ODOT Region 4, said Tuesday. "There was support for increased connectivity within the Wickiup community."

The options in ODOT's plan include adding a multi-use path along the side of the highway, connecting the area to La Pine.

Clayton Musgrove, a 20-year resident of the Wickiup area, said a bike and pedestrian path to La Pine is not what the community needs.

He said he wants ODOT to stick to its original plans of improving railroad crossing safety.

"If it was a safety issue when they started the project, then it’s still a safety issue," Musgrove said. "That needs to be done before they do anything else."

ODOT tried installing an overpass, but scrapped the $17 million project after crews determined the bridge structure was unstable due to rapid settling in soft soil from an unforeseen ancient lake bed.

The remaining funds are being used in the current refinement plan, but the current plan does not address the railroad crossing.

ODOT said nothing is set in stone just yet.

“For our planning, there’s about $1 million we have right now, so we can do some of this planning and start working on some things," Davey said. "But we're really just in the planning phase right now."

She said ODOT sent out nearly 7,000 newsletters in La Pine and the Wickiup area.

It's received 76 surveys back so far, including 45 comments on the online open house that was available for two weeks, and 27 people who participated in the live virtual event on June 25.

ODOT plans to release a report on the Wickiup refinement plan website about community feedback on July 20.

Article Topic Follows: La Pine

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

Rhea Panela

Rhea Panela is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Rhea here.


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