The City of Bend’s Newport Avenue Corridor Improvements project opened to the public on May 26, 2023. A grand opening was held on June 9. Since then, the project has received multiple awards for its innovation, safety, and connectivity.
Project ribbon cutting on June 9
The Oregon Chapter of the American Public Works Association (APWA) awarded the Newport Avenue Corridor Improvements project the 2023 Project of the Year Award in the Transportation, $5 million – $25 million category. The award was presented to the City of Bend during a ceremony at the APWA Oregon conference on October 19.
In addition, the project was recognized in Parametrix’s annual Project of the Year competition. Winners are selected by the Enterprise Leadership team based on the project’s alignment with the company purpose statement, innovation and creativity, and overall project management and client service.
Parametrix project team members David Rico, Dan Finnell, Seth Rankin, and Kendry Ely, pose with the APWA Oregon Project of the Year Award.
The project included reconstructing over a mile of infrastructure and installing a new stormwater treatment and conveyance system, new sewer and water lines, pavement reconstruction, intersection improvements (including four roundabouts), sidewalks and curbs ramps, retaining walls, and illumination systems. Work began in 2019 and continued through 2020 amidst the pandemic and supply chain issues. Despite these challenges, the project opened just a month later than originally scheduled.
One of four roundabouts constructed along Newport Avenue as part of the improvements.
Newport Avenue is an east-west arterial connecting neighborhoods, businesses, an elementary school, and access to the Deschutes River with downtown Bend to the east and the popular Shevlin Park to the west. The route carries passenger vehicles, school buses, freight, bicycles, and pedestrians.
The busy corridor sits nearly 500 feet below the top of the adjacent South Awbrey Butte neighborhood and experienced flooding during rain events, which sent untreated water directly into the Deschutes River. Improving the quality of water in the Deschutes River and reducing the flooding of homes and businesses were the initial project drivers and a primary project goal.
An aerial view of the “dog bone” roundabout. Photo courtesy of Kittelson & Associates.
To make the most of funds and limit construction impacts on this dense neighborhood, the City combined drainage and water quality improvements with a complete reconstruction of Newport Avenue and Nashville Avenue, including replacement of the City’s water and sewer mains and services.
Some sections of the existing roadway had narrow bike lanes and lacked sidewalks, making the corridor uncomfortable and unsafe for active transportation, especially given the freight access required for local businesses. Work also included improvements to transportation and drainage systems along Nashville Avenue, which connects the Newport corridor with a park along the river.
Bike lanes, a sidewalk, and crosswalk near businesses on the corridor.
To offer the City a broad range of services and quickly complete this project, Parametrix assembled a team of consultants who collaborated to deliver the work on schedule and meet the project goals. The team included Kittelson & Associates, Consor, NV5, Cameron McCarthy Landscape Architecture & Design, Universal Field Services, and BH Arboriculture Services. To maximize efficiency on this complex project, the City utilized the Construction Manager/General Contractor (CM/GC) delivery method. They partnered with Taylor Northwest, Inc. as the prime contractor and hired DOWL to provide Owner’s Representative and Construction Administration services.
The Bend community now enjoys this award-winning, vibrant corridor, which is frequently crowded with people walking and rolling on the sidewalks, biking in buffered bike lanes, and parking vehicles in designated spaces to access businesses. The new stormwater system provides treatment for all runoff generated within the project area and reduces flooding through a robust underground conveyance system. New water and wastewater distribution systems make the growing community more resilient. Above ground, transportation improvements make the corridor safer and more efficient for all travel modes while benefiting local businesses with easier access and parking.
Project team members at the ribbon cutting.
“I am incredibly proud of this project—it was a massive scope, through a very busy corridor, during a crazy time in the world. Regardless of the awards won, this project is a winner—the City of Bend and our community have benefited tremendously from the work we have done,” said Parametrix Project Manager, Jessie Rykels-Wilson