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City celebrates roundabout opening and federal grant award

Post Date:08/01/2019 12:08 PM

For Immediate Release               

Date:  Aug. 1, 2019

From: Joshua Romero, Community Relations Manager

Regarding Empire Corridor Improvements, contact: Sinclair Burr

Project Manager, 541-330-4018,

City celebrates roundabout opening and federal grant award on a capital improvements projects tour Monday

Media Opportunity: Empire – Purcell roundabout ribbon cutting


On Monday, Aug. 5, Bend City Councilors will tour and celebrate good news on transportation in Bend, including the completion of the roundabout at Empire Avenue and Purcell Boulevard and a $60.4 million federal grant that will improve U.S. Highway 97 on Bend’s north end.


  • Media is invited to a ribbon cutting at the new roundabout at Empire and Purcell with Councilors and City staff. Media and other visitors can park on the west side of Purcell, just north of Empire.


The Council’s 2019 Capital Improvements Tour bus will arrive at the new roundabout at Empire and Purcell between 10 a.m. and 10:15 a.m. for the ribbon cutting event.


The ribbon cutting marks the completion of the first phase of the Empire Corridor Improvements Project that will improve connectivity, safety and multi-modal transportation options.


Other highlights of this year’s Capital Improvements Tour, which focuses on the north and east portions of Bend, include a tour around the under-construction new fire station on 15th Street that will help the City maintain good response times, new neighborhood safety improvements of Neighborhood Greenways on NE 6th Street between NE Seward and NE Revere avenues, affordable housing developments, northeast Bend redevelopment opportunities and the Bend Municipal Airport.


The City’s contributions to the Empire Corridor Improvement Project helped leverage a $60.4 million federal grant to the Oregon Department of Transportation that will help to realign and reroute the congested highway on Bend’s north end, a long-term project with regional benefits. The tour is scheduled to pass through the site of those future north end improvements.


The cost of the north end work is too large to be funded locally. The City, Deschutes County, and Bend Chamber of Commerce worked with ODOT to win the grant, one of the biggest of the grants recently awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s $855,950,000 Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) grants.


“Winning this grant shows how well Deschutes County, the City of Bend and ODOT work together for our common good,” said Gary Farnsworth, ODOT Region 4 Manager. “Our success at the federal level wouldn’t have happened without the help of our local government partners.”


The $60.4 million grant helps reach the $171 million in funding needed to design and construct the U.S. 97 Bend North Corridor Project.


The City of Bend committed $5 million for improvements to U.S. 97 and U.S. 20 and $25.4 million in Bend’s Capital Improvement Program for Empire Avenue - largely derived from recently-increased transportation system development charges. In addition to the federal grant and the City’s investment, the State of Oregon committed $57.5 million, Deschutes County contributed $13.7 million, and about $2.7 million comes from private funds.


“When funds are available, Bend can deliver,” said Mayor Sally Russell. “Bend is working with citizens and other partners to find funding that will improve safe, reliable transportation options - from local greenways to corridor improvements to regional highways. We recognize there are needs all across the City, and are looking for funding to get things done.”


“This funding was the final piece to a series of transportation projects that will benefit people across the region,” said Katy Brooks, Bend Chamber CEO. “It demonstrates how partnerships between jurisdictions, business and the community can leverage funding to build more projects.”  


“Thousands of Deschutes County residents travel this section of road every day,” said Deschutes County Commission Chair Phil Henderson. “A functioning U.S. 97 is vital to the economy, mobility and safety of Deschutes County and the entire Central Oregon region. We are proud to be working at every level in partnerships that will improve neighborhood, community and regional transportation systems.”




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Accommodation Information for People with Disabilities  

To obtain this information in an alternate format such as Braille, large print, electronic formats, etc. please contact Anne Aurand at 541-388-5573 or

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