City reviewing East Portal concept


Last updated 4/18/2023 at 12:30pm

Why is the former U.S. Forest Service East Portal called the East Portal when it is located on the west side of Sisters?

That location between Highway 20, Cascade Avenue, and Highway 242 is on the east end of Highway 242 and the starting/ending point for the scenic McKenzie Pass Highway, thus it is called the East Portal.

Planning for development of a multi-modal transportation hub at the portal, which began in July 2022, is moving ahead. At their April 12 workshop, Sisters City Council viewed a presentation by Kittleson & Associates that explained the reasoning behind the proposed concept plan, which consists of four phases.

Phase 1 deals with the shared mobility hub and trails plus a covered EV charging station on Cascade Avenue that will have solar panels on top. Estimated costs for all phases include a 30 percent contingency. The expected cost of Phase 1 is $1.5 million for site development. The EV charging station has a $190,000 price tag.

Phase 2 would be the addition of a bus-only lane for $1 million. Phase 3 will create on-street parking on Cascade, RV parking in a separate lot on the hub property, and a Highway 20 bus pull-out for $1 million.

Phase 4 is yet to be determined. The northern site could be used for additional parking, EV charging, or other amenities.

The total for known costs comes to $3.7 million. Sources of funding have yet to be identified and secured, but would include both state and federal dollars.

Kittleson has conducted a thorough process involving three possible concepts for the hub, including developing design criteria with City staff, which were presented at a concept development workshop for key transportation and transit stakeholders. From their input, three concepts were developed and refined.

Public engagement included multiple meetings with the Public Works Advisory Board (PWAB) to solicit feedback. In November 2022, the public was invited to provide feedback on the three concepts. Using the input from the public process, a preferred concept was developed, which was further vetted by the PWAB. The final preferred concept has been proposed as a phased development, which will allow City Council to prioritize development of the site.

The next steps in the process will see continued coordination with stakeholders — transit providers, policymakers, partner agencies, and members of the public. There will be ongoing refinement of the plan through focused design efforts. Work will be done on creating a vision for the remaining elements of the East Portal site, including unused spaces, branding, and elements of the Parks Master Plan. Funding for the project needs to be secured, partially by leveraging available funding sources.

With input from Council, staff will further refine the concept plan and final report and bring it back to Council for final approval. The approved master plan will then be delivered to ODOT for their sign-off to complete the project.


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