Roundabout construction to begin

 

Last updated 3/19/2024 at 3:18pm

Photo by Jim Cornelius

North Locust Street will soon be closed for the construction of a new roundabout. Access to Sisters Elementary School will remain open.

The long-awaited project to construct a roundabout at Highway 20 and Locust Street is set to get underway at the beginning of March.

The project will start with moving the Sisters Elementary School fence and relocating some utilities, according to Sisters Public Works Director Paul Bertagna. The fence relocation is expected to be completed by the time students return from spring break so that students can use the fields.

"All of this is, of course, weather-dependent, too," Bertagna noted.

The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) will host a drop-in open house on Monday, March 4, between 3:30 and 5:30 p.m. at the Sisters Elementary School gym, 611 E. Cascade Ave. where the public can learn more about the project and the impact of construction.

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.

Much of the old highway will be removed, torn up and seeded to make it look natural, according to ODOT officials. ODOT will retain the right-of-way, but they have indicated that they are open to a land swap if the City of Sisters had use for any of the land.

The project will require the closure of North 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.

Access to Sisters Elementary School off East Cascade Avenue will remain open.

ODOT Public Information Officer Julie Denney told The Nugget, "The contractor, Marcum and Sons, will break ground on the project Monday, March 4. North Locust Street will be closed between US 20 and Cascade Avenue from Tuesday, March 5 through the end of May. The entrance of the school at Cascade Avenue will remain open (the closure on Locust will be just to the south of Cascade). Traffic needing to access North Locust Street will be detoured to North Larch Street. Detour routes will be signed to help people find their way."

ODOT is contributing $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 to fund the project.

Bertagna said that the construction bid came in under the original cost estimate.

"We're working with ODOT on that right now," he said.

Author Bio

Jim Cornelius, Editor in Chief

Author photo

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 www.frontierpartisans.com.

 

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