PRINEVILLE, Ore. - The city of Prineville wants to redevelop its main road through town, Third Street. It's a part of Highway 26 the highway and is in the Oregon Department of Transportation's jurisdiction. The city has been working with ODOT to fund the redevelopment.
City officials say they want to enhance the safety and general appearance of Third Street's historic buildings and businesses by adding amenities like new sidewalks and street lights, moving overhead electrical lines underground, improving ADA ramps at intersections and putting in fiber-optic cables that help run street lights underground.
According to Prineville Planning Director Phil Stenbeck, the project will stretch 14 blocks. or about 3,800 feet.
Everything from what kind of street lights to what color of concrete, trash cans, artwork and trees hase been discussed at several meetings.
Stenbeck said Monday the community wants improvements, but they also want Prineville to basically look like it does now.
"We want improved street lights, with the cone facing downward to eliminate light pollution, hang banners, and have baskets hanging off the arms with a drip system that waters them," Stenbeck said. "The new and the old -- there will be some continuity, and it's not going to look extremely different. What you will find is the pattern of sidewalks, like sometimes you have brick patterns and other items in the sidewalk, but you will just have concrete instead."
The funding comes from about $3 million in a recently approved state transportation bill. Another $1.8 million came from ODOT. All of it will be applied to the project.
Construction won't occur for another two years, at least, but it has the potential to affect some of the businesses along Third Street.
Stenbeck said the city and ODOT will work with businesses before, during and after the construction to ease the impacts.
He also said the motivation for the plan started when ODOT wanted to wire the street lights with fiber optics, sparking a conversation about an entire redevelopment.
Pose Shoppe owner Michelle Simpson said she's not too nervous about the construction upsetting her shop, and more than anything, she's excited.
"The sidewalks would probably be the biggest issue, because we have a spot where a tree was, but it hasn't been there since we have been here, so now it has a planter barrel, which is fine, but a tree would be nice," Simpson said. "The sidewalks are kind of cracked and bumpy, and we talked about redoing it a year ago, but the city said, 'Hang on, we are probably going to be doing something here.'"
The redevelopment plan will be presented to the city council Tuesday evening.