Roundabout set for March launch


Last updated 10/17/2023 at 9:45am

Photo by Jim Cornelius

Construction of a new roundabout at Locust Street and Highway 20 will get underway in March 2024.

Construction of a new roundabout at Locust Street and Highway 20 is still set to get underway in March 2024, Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) Central Oregon Region Manager Bob Townsend told the Sisters City Council in a workshop on Wednesday, October 11.

ODOT's $5 million in state transportation improvement funds - which will combine with $1.425 million from the City of Sisters, and $1 million from Deschutes County - are secure, despite ODOT's current funding crisis (Click here to see related story.).

The project will go out to bid next February and is set to begin in March with the closure of Locust Street until Memorial Day weekend. Three legs of the roundabout are expected to be functional by that holiday weekend, with the project fully completed in September 2024.

"It's a pretty firm schedule, barring something completely unforeseen at this time," Townsend told the Council.

Plans call for the highway to be deviated from its current track for a gentle curve into the roundabout, designed to slow traffic coming into town from the east. The construction will eat into a portion of property that is now the Sisters Elementary School tennis courts.

Council President Andrea Blum asked Townsend what will become of the abandoned portions of highway. Townsend explained that ODOT would retain the right-of-way, although they would be open to a land swap if the City of Sisters had a particular use for any of the land.

Much of the old highway will be removed, Townsend explained.

"It'll get torn up and seeded so it looks natural," he said.

Author Bio

Jim Cornelius, Editor in Chief

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Jim Cornelius is editor in chief of The Nugget and author of “Warriors of the Wildlands: True Tales of the Frontier Partisans.” A history buff, he explores frontier history across three centuries and several continents on his podcast, The Frontier Partisans. For more information visit


Reader Comments(1)

ScottBatson writes:

People using the road make mistakes (like speeding, running stop signs and red lights, turning left in front of oncoming traffic), always have and always will. Crashes will always be with us, but they need not result in fatalities or serious injury. Modern roundabouts are the safest form of intersection in the world - the intersection type with the lowest risk of fatal or serious injury crashes - (much more so than comparable signals). Modern roundabouts require a change in speed and alter the geometry of one of the most dangerous parts of the system - intersections. The reduction in speed t


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