As plans move forward to improve the 10th and North Main Street intersection, public works staff will host a public meeting

By next year, the City of Prineville hopes to realign the 10th and North Main Street intersection to improve traffic flow and pedestrian and driver safety.

Before they do that, however, they want to meet with nearby businesses owners and interested members of the public to reveal their plans and take input on the project.

"What we are going to do is realign 10th Street so it is more of a standard four-way intersection. With that, we will have to put in new signals," explained City Street Supervisor Scott Smith. "What we have right now is a preliminary design that (contractor) W.H. Pacific will go over."

The city is hosting a meeting on Tuesday afternoon at Prineville City Hall in which they hope to reach out to businesses that would be affected by the construction work. The list includes Price Slasher, Contact Industries, Main Station Express, Prineville Funeral Home, Mazatlan Mexican Restaurant and Ochoco Feed and Farm Supply.

"We want to make those businesses aware of this project - what the timeline is going to be, what the construction period could be," Smith said. "If there would be any impact to access to any of those businesses."

The city is also welcoming members of the public who might have an interest in the intersection project.

"If they have a certain desire or a need that they saw that maybe the city staff and W.H. Pacific have missed ... now is the time to get that input," Smith said.

The city was able to fund the project by allocating money from its Ninth Street truck route extension that they completed several years earlier. Smith explained that the Ninth Street project came with $10 million of funding, which was not entirely used up. They were able to allocate some of that money to the 10th Street intersection because the work is a component of the Ninth Street project.

The primary reason the city is targeting the 10th Street intersection is to improve its safety. Smith noted that more vehicle accidents occur at that intersection than any other in the city limits.

In addition, Contact Industries has voiced concerns about the safety of their employees who navigate the intersection while walking to Main Street Express or Price Slasher during their lunch break.

"There is no crosswalk there," said Keith Eager, human resources director for Contact Industries. "It's just not a very well marked location."

Eager added that the current design of the intersection makes it difficult for their employees when they leave work for the day.

"When they leave the parking lot and try to get out onto Main Street and through the stoplight, it gets pretty congested," he said.

The Tuesday afternoon session will help determine the timing and details of the project. The city is targeting the summer of 2015 for construction, but that and other particulars will hinge on what comes out of the meeting.

"After we have this get-together, we will have a better idea on timeframes," Smith said.

The city meeting regarding improvements to the 10th and North Main Street intersection will be held Tuesday, Jan. 28, at 1 p.m., at Prineville City Hall.

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