Like many residents of Bend and central Oregon, you probably rely on US 97 in the north end of Bend for a variety of reasons. It may be a way to get to and from your home or work, or a connection to area shopping and dining. It may be a route for moving people and goods through Central Oregon, or a key part of the transportation system for Bend’s future planning and growth. It may be a route to bring freight and customers to and from your business.
US 97 in the north end of Bend serves all of these purposes and more. And that is part of the problem – we are asking the highway to be too many things. The tremendous population growth in Bend and central Oregon has placed many demands on US 97. This has increased congestion, caused disruptions in traffic flow, made traffic delays longer and increased the number of severe and fatal accidents. Even with the recent slowing economy, the population of Bend is still expected to grow and with this growth, traffic on US 97 will increase over time.
We must find a long-term solution to maintain a safe, efficient US 97 in the north end of Bend. Since federal funding will likely be required for this project, ODOT and FHWA have prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that examines in detail and compares the environmental and community impacts and benefits of two build alternatives (East DS1 Alternative and East DS2 Alternative) and the No Build Alternative.
Since the public comment period that ended on September 12, 2011, ODOT and FHWA have been considering all comments on the Draft EIS to help identify the best solution for balancing our transportation needs now and into the future. ODOT and FHWA have been working with local agency partners to explore opportunities to scale down and modify the alternatives to reduce impacts, address public comments, and reduce the overall cost of the project. The agencies will then work with the City of Bend and Deschutes County to finalize land use actions and plan updates, and will prepare a Final EIS.
In the Final EIS, ODOT and FHWA will identify a preferred alternative and then prepare a Record of Decision. A preferred alternative has not yet been identified for the project.
Review the project's Draft EIS »
US 97 is highly congested during
Traffic flow is worsening, with drivers having to wait longer at signals.
Travel delays on US 97 are expected to worsen with future growth.
Severe injury and fatal crashes are increasing on US 97.
The intersections of US 97 at Robal Road and US 97 at Cooley Road have more accidents than other similar intersections in the state.