ODOT maintenance crews began a special project Monday to improve driving conditions on an important commuter corridor -- Highway 97 between Bend and Redmond -- ahead of the upcoming fall and winter.
Monday through Wednesday of this week, and Tuesday until the job is done next week (avoiding Labor Day weekend traffic), crews are making temporary improvements to the severe ruts in the highway surface.
ODOT Region 4 Manager Bob Bryant is on record as saying that use of studded tires on this stretch of highway has contributed to the severe deterioration of the highway surface.
This short-term improvement will fill in the worst ruts, and make the corridor safer during upcoming rainy and snowy weather.
For 2014, The Oregon Transportation Commission has approved a $4.9 million full grind-and-replace paving project for the spring or summer as a permanent fix to the rutting problem.
Motorists are urged to drive with caution while ODOT crews are on scene.