State highway/bridge funding hearing set

The state legislature approved $400 million package for the state's highways and bridges and a series of hearings will help determine which projects will end up getting a piece of that pie
Of the 17 highway improvement projects named in the central Oregon region's list for consideration to receive Oregon Transportation Investment Act funding, six are in Crook County.
   Under House Bill 2142, adopted by the state legislature, $400 million in OTIA of 2001 funds will be spent for Oregon's highways and bridges. Of this amount, $200 million will be for bridges, $50 million of repaving and another $50 million will be used for either bridges or repaving projects depending on the results of public demand. Exactly how much of this money will be spent in each region is not yet known.
   For funding purposes, ODOT's Region 4 has been separated into three areas; Central Oregon Area Commission (COACT), South Central Oregon Area Commission and the Lower John Day Commission on Transportation. These commissions have assisted ODOT officials with developing the project lists.
   The commissions act as an advisory body on all aspects of transportation within the state, surface, marine, air and transportation safety. The primary focus of the body is the state transportation system.
   Beginning later this week, a series of public meetings will be held to give people an opportunity to comment on projects. The list of projects for the three areas are those being considered. The list, according to an ODOT spokesman, is to provide awareness of the projects and their location.
   Through the public hearing process, prioritization of projects will be discussed. The hearing for COACT is scheduled for 3 p.m., Oct. 11.
   The proposed project list for our area is as follows (in no particular order):
   Lane Capacity
   Crook County - Prineville Truck Route: intersection improvements Hwy 41 at Laughlin, Hwy 360 at 9th St and local streets, $9.3 million
   Bend - 10th Street - Providence: $7.9 million
   Redmond - Glacier- Highland Couplet and 15th to 19th streets: $4.6 million
   Madras - Warm Springs Hwy at US 97: $2 million
   Madras - US 97 at J Street: $1.8 million
   Sisters - Signal at Barclay and Hwy 20: $1 million
   Deschutes County - passing lanes, Hwy 126 Redmond to Powell Butte: $1.7 million
   Pavement Preservation (repaving)
   Culver Hwy (Madras/Metolius/Culver): $2.3 million
   Butte Street (Metolius): $200,000
   Crooked River Hwy (Crook County): $1.5 million
   Powell Butte Hwy (Crook County): $1.5 million
   O)Neil Hwy (Crook County): $2.7 million
   Century Drive: $3.6 million
   Paulina Hwy (Crook County): $3 million
   Bridge Repair
   Deer Street Bridge, Prineville, Crook County: $800,000
   Trout Creek Bridge, Ashwood, Crook County: $900,000
   Johnson Market Road Bridge, Deschutes County: $200,000
   The timeline for hearings to be held in Region 4, beginning with Thursday's in Redmond, continue on with meetings in Rufus and Lakeview. Dec. 1 is the deadline for all regional advisory groups to present their recommendations to the Oregon Transportation Commission. The final decisions will be presented at a meeting of the commission on Feb. 2, 2002 for the April - August bond financing timeline.
   Thursdays hearing, to be held at the COIC boardroom, 2363 SW Glacier Place in Redmond, is open to the public and all interested citizens are urged to attend.