Students in Bend, OR get Involved in Newport Corridor Project


By Jessie Rykels-Wilson


The City of Bend’s Newport Corridor Improvement project is in the process of completely reconstructing Newport Avenue between College Way and 9th Street to the City’s current design standards. Parametrix is partnering with the City of Bend,
contractor, Taylor Northwest, and construction manager, DOWL, to deliver this project.

A yield sign in front of a newly constructed roundabout

Part of the project involved reconstructing Nashville Avenue, a local road next to Highland Elementary School and since April 2020, kids, parents, and teachers have been navigating the construction zone on their way to school, including myself, as this
is the school my kids attend. During initial demolition efforts, several trees were removed, which concerned some students, neighbors, and the larger community. 

Holes are dug for trees to be planted while students watch

Last month, while the final landscaping was being installed next to the school, the City of Bend hosted an event to teach the students about the project. Crews from Taylor Northwest closed the road so the classes could visit through three different
learning stations:

  • How the City deals with stormwater
  • How these new stormwater planters work
  • How trees impact the ecosystem of the Deschutes River

After the classes worked through the stations, each student was able to place a scoop of soil on the newly planted trees. The City of Bend was also able to procure a donation from Pine Nursey of 310 ponderosa trees for students to take home and plant. The
timing of this event was especially significant, as a majority of the classrooms are studying trees right now as part of their Scottish Storyline curriculum.

Jessie wears a yellow safety vest standing with her daughter on the sidewalk

Jessie with her daughter

As a working parent, it was really special to have my professional and parent-life collide in such a big way, it is unlikely that I’ll have the opportunity to improve the roads and sidewalks in front of the school my kids attend again. Through this
project my kids figured out that even though I don’t get to drive the construction equipment, I still have a pretty cool job.

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