Bend councilors OK busy summer of road work

$7 million worth on major and neighborhood streets

Bend plans more street paving work this summer

BEND, Ore. - The Bend City Council on Wednesday night authorized more than $7 million worth of street paving and other preservation work this summer to improve 125 lane miles of roads around the city.

That includes a $5.3 million contract with Granite Construction for 50 lane miles of paving work, both grind-and-inlay and overlay treatments.

This year's paving will include stretches of some high-use streets, including Skyliner Road, Century Drive, Colorado Avenue and Olney/Penn/Neff roads. Some of the work will occur at night, to minimize disruptions to the public, officials said.

The council also approved a $710,709 contract with Intermountain Slurry Seal for slurry seal treatments on about 60 lane miles around the city, and an $824,073 contract with Alex Hodge Construction for reconstruction of the Shevlin Park Road-Mt. Washington Drive roundabout.

In a joint venture with Deschutes County, the city also will chip-seal about 15 lane miles around the city.  

“We’re shifting our emphasis slightly more toward our residential roads, as most of our main streets are in better shape,” said city Streets and Operations Director David Abbas.

He said about 30 of the 50 lane miles being paved this summer are residential roads.

Abbas told councilors this summer's road work will make it "one of the busiest" street project seasons in city history.

The city has been working to get its "pavement condition index" (PCI) - the condition of city streets - moving upward after years of deterioration. At present, he said, the city streets are back up to an overall PCI of 73, with arterials and collectors up to 82.

About $824,000 will be spent on the reconstruction of the Mt. Washington Drive-Shevlin Park Road roundabout, which was one of the city's first, built nearly 20 years ago to a somewhat lower standard than the 30-year lifespan for new roundabouts and intended from the rebuild. Abbas noted the route gets "a lot of heavy truck traffic."

An online interactive map shows a variety of types of treatments that will occur on Bend roads. The City’s “Keep Good Roads Good” philosophy means efforts maintain and preserve streets with the most cost-effective treatment for the road condition — the right treatment at the right time.

The treatments include:

· Inlays and Overlays – Old asphalt is ground out and replaced or a new layer of asphalt is paved on top of existing roadway. The process can take a couple of days.

· Slurry – A treatment for low-volume residential streets. One-day closures are typically expected.

· Chip seals – Hot oil and rock are applied to the road. Rolling, short term closures expected.

A road’s condition helps the city determine maintenance plans. Street preservation treatments can include chip seal, slurry seal, grind-and-inlay or overlay treatments, depending on the severity of the road degradation.

The worst roads need full reconstruction. But city officials note that reconstruction is exponentially more expensive than maintenance, not an efficient use of maintenance funds and more likely to be paid for as part of a larger capital improvement program.

To learn more about Bend’s street preservation practices, visit  which includes a new interactive map about this summer’s plans.

City Manager Eric King said at Wednesday night's council meeting that there also will be an interactive map included in weekly road delays and projects updates that begin next week, so residents, visitors and businesses can see what projects are underway or coming up in their area of the city.

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