BEND, Ore. -

Highway planners for the Oregon Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration published the final Environmental Impact Statement for the US 97 Bend North Corridor Project on Friday.

It identifies the project’s Preferred Alternative (East DS2 Modified Alternative), provides detailed analysis of the Preferred Alternative, and includes responses to public and local, state and federal agency comments on the draft EIS.

ODOT officials said the Preferred Alternative substantially minimizes impacts to neighborhoods east of US 97 and rural residential properties north of Cooley Road.

“We’ve taken the time to get this right,” said Region Manager Bob Bryant. "This key milestone brings us closer to building critical improvements that promote safety and maintain statewide mobility in the US 97 corridor to best serve all the communities in Central Oregon well into the future.”

The Record of Decision will be issued on the project this fall.

An electronic version of the final EIS will be available at the project website (www.US97Solutions.org) and at branches of the Deschutes County Public Library.