Slow down, rough road ahead on U.S. 26
May 2, 2023
For more information, contact Kacey Davey, 541-280-2716
BEND - Years of wear and tear have taken their toll on U.S. 26 between Highway 216 and the Warm Springs River, resulting in a highway scattered with many ruts and potholes. An upcoming project in 2024 will completely repave this 15-mile stretch of highway, but temporary changes to this area are coming much sooner.
A temporary speed reduction will be going into effect for this area starting on May 5 and will last until we can improve the condition of the pavement. This reduction, from 55 mph down to 45 mph, will give people more time and opportunity to navigate this rough stretch of highway.
The speed reduction will also slow traffic and make the work zones safer for our crews while they work on temporary pothole and rut patches that will start this summer and last throughout the year. A reduction of 10 mph in this bumpy area is safer for everyone and will only add an extra four minutes to your drive.
With our budget already stretched thin, we could see more temporary fixes in the future. U.S. 26 will receive federal funding next year, but many of our lower volume roads may not. Our maintenance budgets arenít built to repave roads; they are built to patch roads and do small repairs. A reduced maintenance budget and federal dollars not going as far means we will see a reduced level of service on many of our roads. We will need to use tools such as speed reductions to help navigate safety concerns and lessen impacts to all users.
Portable message boards will warn drivers to slow down, and 45 mph speed signs will be installed throughout the area on Friday.
If you plan to travel this stretch of highway, give yourself some extra time to make the journey. Be prepared for a few bumps in the road and watch out for our crews who will be working throughout the year in this area. Tripcheck.com is a great resource for construction delays.