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City planning to realign the 10th and Main Street intersection within the next year

JASON CHANEY - Northeast 10th Street and Lamonta Road do not meet North Main Street at the same spot in the intersection, so City of Prineville workers will realign the intersection next year to correct the problem and make other safety upgrades.

City of Prineville Street Supervisor Scott Smith describes the 10th and Main Street intersection as "a funky intersection" that is poorly aligned.

Lamonta Road meets North Main Street from the west about half a lane north of where 10th Street meets it from the east. The out-of-alignment intersection is controlled by a stoplight, though it lacks protected left turns, and Smith points out that there are near-collisions on almost a daily basis.

City officials have wanted to upgrade the intersection and properly align it for several years, and soon they will finally be acting on that plan. But the intersection fix is not the only work planned for the area and city officials will soon launch construction that will last off and on into next summer.

The first task was to prepare the area beneath the intersection for installation of a new sewer line that will run beneath the railway easement from Main Street to Northeast Seventh Street.

"Taylor Northwest is potholing for utility conflicts," Smith said earlier this week, noting that they are in search of any electrical, water or fiber optic lines that might be in the path of the incoming sewer line.

"They want to make sure they know exactly where those existing utilities are so that they can start out at the right elevation with the new sewer line," he explained.

This work will set the table for installation of the sewer line. Work is expected to start during the third week of this month and will begin at the 10th and Main intersection.

"We will be digging through the intersection," Smith said.

The work will take place at the intersection during a roughly three-day period, with all of the work taking place at night to minimize traffic interruptions. Once the sewer line is installed under the intersection, workers will continue to install the line along the railway easement until they reach Seventh Street. The work is expected to conclude this coming winter.

"It will be a fairly quick project," Smith said.

The following summer, the city will turn its attention to the intersection alignment and upgrade project. In addition to aligning where 10th Street and Lamonta Road meet, the city will add new turn signals with protected left turns and will improve pedestrian access through the intersection.

Like the first project, the intersection work will take place at night, starting as late as 9 p.m., and will be patched up and open to traffic during the daytime.

Part of the work includes the relocation of a major power pole, which will likely push completion of the project into July or August.

"We are going to do everything we can to move that forward as much as we can," Smith remarked, adding that they want to have all of the work done before school starts that fall.

All of the projects planned for the coming year will be paid for by either sewer or transportation system development charges, Smith said.

City officials are eager to see the new upgrades come to fruition. Smith points out that the intersection alignment is something that the Prineville City Council has wanted for a long time.

"It is going to be a big improvement," he concluded.

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