BACKGROUND: The City, in partnership with ODOT, approved a resolution in 2017 for the last INFRA grant process. That INFRA application made it to the final funding stages but was not advanced. The 2019 application has improved local partnerships and matches to make the application more competitive.
The US 97 corridor through Bend is a critical segment of local, statewide, and national infrastructure. The north end of the US-97 Parkway has reached its designed capacity and must be improved in order to ease congestion, enhance safety and provide connectivity and access. The US 97 corridor provides connectivity and access to three recently approved Urban Growth Expansion Areas (OB Riley, North Triangle, and NE) as well as serving as a primarily route for the City.
For more than ten years the City and ODOT have partnered to create the following highway plans and projects for the north Highway 97 segment:
• Designing US-20 and Empire Corridor improvements, construction estimated in 2020
• Highway 97 Corridor Planning • Designing Empire Corridor and seeking construction funds
• Approved Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for US-97 Bend North Corridor Project (2011)
• Amended City Transportation System Plan (TSP) to include the EIS alignment (2011)
• Approved Juniper Ridge Intergovernmental (transportation) Agreement (2010)
• Completed City NE Bend Transportation Study (2009)
• Created “Mid-Term” concept for US-97/Cooley intersection (2008)
• Completed US-97/Cooley Intersection Refinement Plan (2006) With this body of work and partnership ODOT and the City were able to secure $50 million from the State Legislature (HB 2017) for the US-97/Cooley Road Interchange area project. This has set ODOT up to now apply for the Federal grant using the state funds as a significant match. The total estimated cost of the US-97 project that is nearly $170 million, the grant request is $66 million (The total cost and the grant request are being refined by ODOT for the application which is due March 4, 2019.) ODOT is including other existing City and County projects in the application that support the US-97 project such as the City’s Empire Avenue project. These other projects are already funded and add transportation connectivity, safety, and operation benefits to the US-97 Corridor.