Planning for alternate route ramps up
Last updated 8/24/2022 at Noon
The complete alternate route around downtown Sisters is closer to a reality as planning and right-of-way acquisition for the Locust/Highway 20 roundabout is ramping up. The third piece of the alternate route involves improvements to Barclay Drive, being designed by Kittleson & Associates.
The project began last month, July 2022, with completion of design and bidding tasks expected by March 2023. Construction will occur between March and November 2023. The total cost for design and bidding comes in at just under $100,000, to be paid out of the Street System Development fund.
When the Locust/Highway 20 roundabout and Barclay Drive improvements are complete, trucks and through traffic will be able to enter the roundabout at either end of town to access Barclay Drive, which will carry traffic around Cascade Avenue, thus reducing the current congestion on Cascade Avenue at heavy traffic times and the impact of large trucks in downtown.
Over the years, a multitude of possible scenarios for relieving the traffic congestion have been explored and rejected for several reasons, most notably cost. A couplet, with one-way east-bound traffic on Hood Avenue and one-way west-bound traffic on Main Avenue, was considered multiple times without gaining traction. With a couplet, freight traffic would still be traveling through downtown. The old Brooks Scanlon logging road on the south side of Sisters was studied as a possible bypass route around Sisters, but land acquisition and construction costs were found to be prohibitive.
Barclay Drive was identified in the 2021 Transportation Safety Plan as an alternate route around downtown Sisters, connecting Locust Street to the US 20/Barclay roundabout. The project entails improving the existing Barclay Drive roadway to a three-lane arterial section, with two 10-foot, curb-tight multi-use pathways. From the Highway 20/Barclay roundabout to Pine Street, the roadway will be re-striped after development on both sides (Sisters Woodlands and the industrial park) has widened the roadway to accommodate the three-lane
Pine Street to Locust Street will be widened to accommodate turn lanes, which will require acquisition of a handful of small rights-of-way to increase the curve radii for large truck movements. The realignment of the Locust/Barclay intersection will also assist in making the northbound-westbound movement from Locust Street the primary route. Additional items Kittleson will be charged with designing include dark sky-friendly LED Cobra lighting, franchise utility coordination, and significant tree and existing landscape preservation.
The public involvement/outreach will consist of a presentation to the Public Works Advisory Board and a City Council presentation. City staff are to work with the community toward enhancing the functions and livability of the business and property owners affected by the project.