Redmond’s Maple Avenue Bridge to link east, west side

By Rachael Scarborough King / The Bulletin
Published: December 24. 2006 5:00AM PST

The Maple Avenue Bridge, which will provide a new east-west route over Redmond’s Dry Canyon, is slated to open Jan. 2.

The $8.2 million bridge in north Redmond has been under construction since March 2005 and is one of a number of transportation projects currently under way in the city.

Assistant City Engineer Tim Pflum said that the construction includes improvements to Maple Avenue from Northwest 19th Street on the west side of the canyon to Northeast Fifth Street on the east side.

The bridge, which is almost entirely financed by Redmond system development charges, is being built in conjunction with an overpass that will extend Maple Avenue farther east to Negus Way.

The Oregon Department of Transportation is financing the overpass.

There will also be a new traffic light at the intersection of Maple and U.S. Highway 97 once the bridge construction is completed.

“It’s virtually finished, we’re just getting the lights put on it … we didn’t want to open the bridge up before we got the signal at Highway 97 because there would be a lot of traffic trying to access right there,” Pflum said.

The city will have an official ribbon-cutting for the bridge, with a speech from the mayor and police and fire vehicle processions, on Jan. 2 starting at noon. Pflum said that construction was completed on schedule.

The bridge will make it easiier for drivers to get from one side of town to another, City Engineer Mike Caccavano said, and it will eventually improve access to the planned reroute of Highway 97.

“It’s real important to get another connection across the Dry Canyon,” Caccavano said.

“We have a connection there at Antler and Black Butte and then there’s nothing to the north of that, and we’ve got a whole lot of development on the north end of town and that canyon blocks the connection.”

Pflum said that the bridge will feature two travel lanes with bike lanes and 7-foot sidewalks on either side. It will also include viewing platforms and will be open to some pedestrian and bike traffic before Jan. 2. The bridge will be about 780 feet long and rise 80 feet above the canyon floor.

Construction on the existing portion of Maple Avenue caused some delays, Caccavano said. He added that he has heard from many residents who “can’t wait till it opens.”

The bridge and overpass will also provide easy access to the planned Wal-Mart Supercenter at the corner of Maple and Highway 97 for residents living on the west side of Redmond.

“The traffic signal will improve the safety of access to Highway 97 up there in that area, also the new Wal-Mart is going in just north of Maple Avenue over on Northwest Fourth Street, so it improves access to that area in general and (is an) overall access improvement between east Redmond and the west side,” Pflum said.

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