Bend looks to 14th Street

City could use savings from Reed Market Road to fix 14th Street

By Hillary Borrud / The Bulletin / @hborrud


Published Jul 31, 2014 at 06:13PM / Updated Jul 31, 2014 at 10:47PM

City of Bend employees are keeping a close watch on any potential cost increases on the $18.3 million Reed Market Road project. That’s partly because if the SE Reed Market Road project stays on budget, there will be money left over from a $30 million bond that voters approved in 2011 to pay for a variety of other street projects.

The plan is to use any remaining money from the bond — roughly $2 million, if Reed Market Road does not increase in cost — to improve a short section of SW 14th Street between NW Galveston Avenue and SW Simpson Avenue. The city will survey SW 14th Street this fall to identify issues that could potentially be addressed in a project, city of Bend Growth Management Department Director Nick Arnis said Monday.

The street will also be included in an upcoming city study of future traffic issues and necessary street improvements for drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians, particularly with the new OSU-Cascades campus planned in the area.

Problems on SW 14th Street include missing sidewalks along some sections — sidewalks dead-end into parking lots, which run all the way to the street — as well as missing curbs and a lack of stormwater drainage.

However, Arnis said it is too early to know whether there will be $2 million left after the Reed Market Road project, which the city expects to finish in November 2015.

Bend Street Division Manager Hardy Hanson said Tuesday that there are a number of issues that could cause the cost of the Reed Market Road project to increase.

“Delays can cause huge cost overruns if you miss a (construction weather) window,” Hanson said.

Excavators could also hit more rock than anticipated. Arnis said this is often the point at which the cost might increase.

“Usually when we get the ground excavated is when we start finding things,” Arnis said.

Better street infrastructure might be one way to address some of the local traffic issues, which are a top concern for residents in the area of 14th Street. Gary Fowles is vice chair of the River West Neighborhood Association,

“Generally speaking in our neighborhood, traffic and traffic speeds are pretty much the members’ biggest concern,” Fowles said Tuesday. “Every time we poll the neighbors, we hear concerns about traffic.”

Some people have also expressed interest in street work that would improve access for bicyclists and pedestrians, as well as concerns that the new OSU-Cascades campus planned in southwest Bend will increase traffic on 14th Street.

“We hear lot of concerns about the pedestrian street crossings and lack of enforcement of, you know, autos not yielding to pedestrians,” Fowles said.

— Reporter: 541-617-7829, hborrud@bendbulletin.com