Empire Avenue Improvement Project Reaches New Milestone

City Council Recap – August 15, 2018

Courtesy: Tor Hanson, Bend Chamber Special Projects Reporter


The Empire Avenue Improvement Project reached a new milestone at the August 15 city council meeting. After authorizing a progressive design-build agreement with Knife River Corporation on March 7 this year, the city and contractor have worked together to develop the project and associated costs.

Councilor Campbell told her colleagues she would not support the resolution

Presenting city staffer, Project Engineer Sinclair Burr told city council the progressive Design-Build contract process has produced additional savings. Project costs were developed using “open book” pricing and were also reviewed by independent industry experts. The original agreement set the cost for the Phase 1 project to $496,877. Within the collaborative effort of the design-build agreement, the current cost is set at $4,678,045, although the city manager has approval to approve contract changes up to $172,207.

The Phase 1 contract includes the following projects:

  • Empire/Purcell roundabout
  • Empire Avenue modernization
  • Purcell Boulevard modernization between the project’s north end and the North Unit Irrigation District right-of-way

Councilor Campbell told her colleagues she would not support the resolution, saying the Murphy Road improvement project was more important considering the current national political climate. The tariffs would drive up the price on steel, an important ingredient in the construction of the Murphy Road overpass. Campbell suggested prioritizing Murphy over Empire, saying she was nervous the Murphy Road improvement project would not come to fruition.

The resolution was approved 4-1 (Russell, Moseley, Abernethy, and Livingston in favor. Campbell opposed)

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