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US 97 Project North of Bend Receives a $15M Boost; Sisters Intersection to Improve

BEND, OR — A new roundabout in Sisters will help traffic flow smoother; a roundabout as part of U.S 97 realignment north of Bend will do the same. These two projects have been selected to receive a total of $20 million from the "Enhance" portion of the 2024-2027 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program. Projects in this category are aimed at improving safety and reducing congestion on some of Oregon’s busiest roadways.

The U.S. 20 at N. Locust Avenue project in Sisters is receiving $5 million to replace the intersection with a single-lane roundabout that will help traffic flow smoother on the busy road.

The U.S. 97 and U.S. 20 Bend North Corridor project is receiving $15 million, which will further the estimated $175-million project that includes realigning U.S. 97 east of its current location between NE Empire Avenue and Cooley Road; adding a roundabout at the intersection of U.S. 20 and Cooley Road; and other updates.

Helping traffic flow smoother improves safety and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. These goals are part of the Oregon Department of Transportation's 2021-2023 Strategic Action Plan, which focuses on the three priorities of equity, a modern transportation system, and sufficient, reliable funding.

The Statewide Transportation Improvement Program, or STIP, is the state’s regular project identification and funding program. Last year, the Oregon Transportation Commission allocated $65 million for the “Enhance” part of the 2024-2027 STIP, which will fund a total of $2.2 billion in projects.

The commission required several factors to be considered in selecting projects, including those that improve safety, support multimodal accessibility, are equitable, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The commission also required at least 30 percent of the projects selected to be located outside of a Metropolitan Planning Organization boundary, recognizing the need to serve highway users in non-urban areas.

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