The project, which includes Highway 126 up the grade, is scheduled to begin on July 24

by: JASON CHANEY - Highway 126 going up the grade out of Prineville will undergo a repaving project beginning later this month.

Later this month, local drivers can expect some major construction work to begin on the highways west of Prineville.

Starting at the bridge crossing the Crooked River, Highway 126 will undergo a grind and repave project spanning about 3.4 miles to Grass Butte, at the end of the passing lanes in that area.

Highway 26 will receive the same treatment on a half-mile stretch west of where it intersects Highway 126.

The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) is completing the road work, which is scheduled to begin July 24, to improve the pavement condition, which was rated poor for Highway 126. In recent years, ODOT crews have patched holes and filled ruts on the stretch of highway that winds up hill to the top of the rimrock, in hopes of reaching a point where they could repave it.

“It’s a main thoroughfare for both public transportation and the freight industry,” said ODOT Community Liaison Ann Fisher, regarding the importance of the project.

Construction will take place between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. in order to limit the effect on traffic and local businesses as much as possible.

“They do a traffic study to determine when the work needs to be done to be least impactful,” Fisher said.

While the repaving projects make up the bulk of the construction plans, ODOT intends to take care of some smaller concerns as well. They will remove a short section of guard rail near Houston Lake Road and replace it with a berm.

“They prefer things to look more natural,” Fisher said of the decision.

In addition, they will make some improvements on the corners of Millican Road to make improve its safety, and repair and add ADA ramps to the sidewalks on Highway 26 between the “Y” and Northwest Ninth Street.

ODOT is targeting mid-October for completion of the work, and as construction takes place, Fisher is urging drivers to exercise caution in those areas.

“We all get stuck in our driving habits,” she noted. “It is important right now to pay attention to the surroundings and what’s going on.”

For those driving through the construction zones during the nighttime work hours, Fisher said to anticipate delays of up to 20 minutes.

“We will have flaggers and pilot cars if needed,” she added.

Once the projects are finished, the sections of highway are expected to last 10 to 12 years, depending on the amount of traffic on roads. For City of Prineville Street Supervisor Scott Smith, the improvements will be a welcome sight.

“There is no doubting the increase in traffic with Facebook and Apple, and the good things happening at the airport,” he said. “I am just happy to see a substantial amount of ODOT money being spent in Prineville and Crook County.”

Contract Publishing

Go to top
Template by JoomlaShine