Creating an overpass for Murphy Road across U.S. Highway 97, along with several new roads and new highway ramps on the south side of the city, would cost a total of $40 million, officials told the Bend City Council on Monday night.
City officials are confident that they can get moving on the project within a couple years by collecting funding from a variety of sources.
Rough plans call for starting the realignment of Murphy Road on the east side of the parkway. The project would start just west of Parrell Road before crossing over and connecting with Brookswood Boulevard on the west side.
Under the plan, the Oregon Department of Transportation would remove the signals on Highway 97 at Pinebrook Boulevard and at Southeast Third Street.
A new set of ramps, including a flyover, would connect Third and the highway on the south side of the city.
“This is just a very positive way to approach problems where everybody is trying to come up with solutions and everybody is going to win in the end,” Councilor Chris Telfer said after a presentation of the plans at a Bend City Council meeting Monday night.
The city is working with ODOT and WinCo Foods, which plans to build a store in the area, on the traffic improvements. In the near future, the current signal at Third and Highway 97 would get a temporary fourth “leg” so that drivers could reach WinCo, which would be on the west side of the highway.
ODOT could pay as much as $15 million of the project’s cost, Bend Public Works Director Ken Fuller said, because a portion of the project involves improving the highway. The costs of an overpass and new local roads could be paid with a new urban renewal area in that part of the city.
“There’s plenty of money we believe, but we’ve got sequencing and phasing issues of how we build projects and pay for them,” Economic Development Director John Russell said.
By next month, officials plan to come back to the City Council with more specifics, including a construction timeline. Russell suggested Monday night that an urban renewal area could be created as soon as next August. That would give the city the ability to get several million dollars in bonds within about a year.
In other business, Juniper Ridge Special Projects Manager Ron Garzini presented the first draft of a work plan for the 1,500-acre mixed-use project. The plan is a large bar chart showing the various phases of construction and significant road work nearby, such as improvements to Highway 97.
“As we begin to firm up dates, timelines, commitments, contracts, we’re going to add them into the work plan,” Garzini said.
The chart places the beginning of construction of an interchange at Highway 97 and Cooley Road in mid-2009. That project would not be complete until 2011, under the draft work plan. The chart assumes that construction of a long-term reroute of the northern section of Highway 97 would not start until 2016.
The plan also proposes putting parcels of Juniper Ridge land up for sale in mid-2009, though city officials agreed that could happen sooner.
“It’s entirely possible, in the middle of 2008, that we could sell property,” Garzini said.