Rough road: Bend projects frustrate drivers

Three major projects, many smaller ones to be completed

Bend drivers see pain for gain

BEND, Ore. - Orange detour and construction signs can be seen all over Bend.

The city has around 20 road projects to complete this summer. Three of them major road improvements.

Every night from 7 p.m. 7 a.m., the underpass on Southeast Third Street is closed to traffic, for storm drain improvements to avoid future flooding.

A busy section of Reed Market Road has been closed since May. Detour signs now direct drivers.

"If you don't know the actual routine around here, it's a waste of time and it's a waste of gas," said area resident Francie Hoefling.

Drivers that work and live near the construction say it has added a significant amount of time to their commute -- especially over the last few days, with smaller maintenance projects like chip-sealing on 15th Street happening on the surrounding roads.

"It took me 50 minutes to get home.  I live on the Westside, work over here on the Eastside -- it normally takes me about 12," said Humane Society of Central Oregon employee Johnny Springer.

And it's affecting businesses around Reed Market as well.

"It has affected us -- we're down about 10 percent so far with the construction being in place from where we were last year," said Tom Healy. owner of Expressway Market at the corner of Reed Market and 15th.

But city officials say it's the weather that forces them to do it all at once.

"We have to kind of do what we can do when we do it, and move along,." said Hardy Hanson, the city's street division manager.  "We also have to do it because of the day you need warm temperatures."

Although a pain for drivers now, the city says it will be worth it in the end.

"A major overlay -- yeah, it should buy you 10, 15 years if you're lucky," said Hanson. "A chip seal like this, if we're lucky it will buy us seven years."

The first phase of the Reed Market project is expected to be done by the end of August. But a roundabout at 15th and Reed Market will be put in next summer, which means more detours and traffic in the future.

"We have too much to do in just a short window, so we do the best we can and apologize about the inconvenience," said Hanson.

Later this month, construction will start on bike and sidewalk improvements Northwest Riverside Boulevard, and should last about three months,

For a full list of all of this summer's construction, visit

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