Road work ahead sign

The city of Redmond will spend more than $1.5 million on two major transportation projects expected to break ground this summer: making major upgrades to NW Hemlock Avenue and building a roundabout near Safeway.

The City Council unanimously approved spending on both projects at its remotely held Tuesday night meeting.

The slightly more expensive of the two is a planned roundabout at the intersection of SW Canal Boulevard and SW Pumice Avenue, which will cost the city $787,975, according to city documents. Construction is expected to begin in July, City Engineer Mike Caccavano told city councilors.

The roundabout should help relieve congestion at the busy intersection, for both the nearby Safeway and a planned 192-unit apartment complex, which will be built on a patch of vacant land west of Canal Boulevard, he said.

“As anybody who’s driven (at the intersection) is aware, it’s difficult to make left turns … if you’re coming out from Safeway,” Caccavano said Tuesday.

The city received two bids for the project, and chose the more expensive of the two, from construction company Knife River, Caccavano said. A team of city engineers chose Knife River’s bid — which was more than $170,000 more than the other offer — for a couple reasons, he said.

First, Knife River has experience with building other large roundabouts in Central Oregon, such as installations on Reed Market Road and Empire Avenue in Bend, according to city documents. Furthermore, when Knife River finished improvements on Canal Boulevard last year, the company completed the project under bid, Caccavano said.

The second project approved by the Redmond City Council, at the price of $781,676, is a series of upgrades to NW Hemlock Avenue to transform it from a rural road to a major collector street.

There are two sections of Hemlock Avenue that will see changes. Between NW 19th and 23rd streets, curbs will be added along with a sidewalk on the south side of the street and a multiuse path on the north side, according to city documents. The multiuse path will connect to a recently-constructed similar path in the Maple Meadows subdivision to the west.

Between NW 27th and 35th streets — most of which has yet to be developed — there will be a pavement overlay, but not full improvements, Caccavano said. This is because the city is expecting future developments in the area, and those homebuilders will add their own sidewalks and other street improvements, he told the City Council.

“Rather than build improvements in that section, and have them torn up when development comes in the future, we’re just going to put in an overlay to make sure we keep the pavement in shape,” Caccavano said Tuesday.

Hemlock Avenue has already seen improvements between NW 23rd and 27th streets, due to previously built home development, Caccavano said.

The new Hemlock improvements could start construction as early as August, he said.

During the meeting, Councilor Ginny McPherson said she was excited that Hemlock would become more pedestrian-friendly.

“I’m thrilled,” she said Tuesday. “This is something that needed to be done for safety purposes.”

Reporter: 541-617-7854, jhogan@bendbulletin.com

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