Pendleton, Ore. – (Release from the City of Pendleton) Pendleton City Council will consider options for the reconstruction of Northwest Despain Avenue, between North Main Street and Northwest Seventh Street, on Tuesday, April 4.
Northwest Despain Avenue is an older street that has deteriorated to the point that it needs a full reconstruction. The street within the project area is currently 30 feet wide from curb-to-curb and out of compliance with city codes. The street is considered substandard, so, in planning the reconstruction, City staff, and engineers worked to bring the street into compliance. For the type of street Northwest Despain Avenue is used as, there are two options in the code, known as Option 1 and Option 2:
- Repaving the street to a 32-foot span, adding ADA accessible curb ramps and bulb-out curbs to slow traffic as well as additional storm drainage systems. This option would expand the travel lanes to 12 feet in each direction.
- Repaving the street to a 36-foot span, adding ADA accessible curb ramps, bulb-out curbs to slow traffic, and on-street parking on the North side of the road as well as additional storm drainage systems. This option would reduce the travel lanes to 10 feet in each direction.
Because city staff believes the larger travel lanes could increase traffic speeds on an already problematic road, they recommended the second option, which provides additional natural traffic controls through on-street parking on both sides of the road and a more narrow travel lane. Bulb-outs, on-street parking and narrow traffic lanes have been demonstrated to provide calming, or slowing, of traffic. More information on traffic calming can be found on the U.S. Department of Transportation website at https://www.transportation.gov/mission/health/Traffic-Calming-to-Slow-Vehicle-Speeds. Design drawings for each block of the project are included at the bottom of this page under “supporting documents.”
During a recent City Council work session, community members petitioned for a third option, known as Option 3:
- 3. Repaving the street in its current 30-foot span, adding ADA accessible curb ramps as well as additional storm drainage systems. This option would keep the travel lanes at the existing 11 feet in each direction. Information on bulb-outs and additional engineering would need to be solicited for this option before additional details could be finalized.
In addition to the street rebuilding and repaving, the reconstruction of Northwest Despain Avenue, regardless of which width option is selected, will require new curbs and gutters to meet standards, new storm drainage systems to meet standards, freeze/thaw protection of the street and installation of new ADA ramps with bulb-outs to meet federal requirements.
Engineering estimates for reconstructing Northwest Despain Avenue in the seven-blocks from Main Street to Northwest Seventh Street put a base cost for construction at $900,000; Option 1 would cost an additional $10,000 total for the seven-block area, and Option 2 would cost an additional $30,000 total for the seven-block area.
Pendleton Mayor John Turner has received a petition from area residents against the widening of Despain. During a work session on Feb. 28, multiple petitioners addressed the council, requesting the street be rebuilt in its existing 30-foot width. Responses to resident concerns are included in the Frequently Asked Questions section below.
Based on public input, the Pendleton City Council asked City staff to draft proposals for Option 1, Option 2, and Option 3 and present those to City Council at an upcoming meeting. Meeting agendas and packets are available at https://cityofpendletonor.civicweb.net/Portal/MeetingTypeList.aspx
In addition to the street reconstruction, City crews began work last week on the second phase of a related but separate project on Northwest Despain. The in-house project is replacing wastewater and storm drain lines along Northwest Despain to prepare for the street reconstruction. The second phase of those lines is from Northwest Sixth Street to Northwest Ninth Street and should be completed by no later than early April.