PRINEVILLE, Ore. - Crook County is looking at adding another access point to Juniper Canyon Road, to make sure that there is more than one way in and out of the area southeast of Prineville.
The proposed improvements include a connection between Highway 27 and Davis Loop.
The connection would add another access point to the area, which in recent years has seen many subdivisions added.
Ann Beier, the county's community development director, said Wednesday that the project has been a long time in the making.
"There are a number of subdivisions that have developed over the years, and it has been noted there is one road in, and a gravel road out that I believe is on Bureau of Reclamation property," Beier said.
A new access point would give those living in the area another way out in the event of an emergency.
Jerry Brummer is a Crook County commissioner who used to serve on the planning commission and has been working to make improvements to the road for years now.
Brummer said that with the development of the Juniper Canyon area, it became a safety issue that with only one way in and out of the area was also very inconvenient for people living there.
According to Crook County codes, cul-de-sacs can only be 800 feet long, which is what sparked Brummer's interest in the area.
"I just was amused that we had a 25 mile long cul-de-sac, you now, in the county," Brummer said. "Because that's basically what it is, it's a large cul-de-sac -- there's only one way in and one way out."
According to Brummer, 20 to 25 percent of the county's population lives in that area, and the new road would help with safety, also allowing for traffic to be more spread out.
Brummer said he's happy to get the ball rolling on this project, as it may take some time to complete.
"Well, hopefully we are going to be able to move forward on it, get something done," he said. "It's not going to happen very fast. But at least we got the process started and you know, we're moving forward, so hopefully we'll be able to get it completed."
"And I don't know if it'll take four, years five years -- it could be 10 years," Brummer added. "But if we don't get started on it, it won't get done."
Crook County has deemed this project to be a high priority, and the county plans to use funding from county, state and federal funds that are available to them.
Brummer added that because nearly a quarter of the county's population lives in Juniper Canyon, he wants to see it completed as quickly as possible.