Now that the Oregon Dept. of Transportation has finalized a plan to deal with the traffic on Hwy. 97 on Bend's north end near Juniper Ridge, the path is clear for OSU-Cascades to build its new four-year university there.
The state expects the federal highway fund to pay for the estimated $150-million to $250-million project.
This means that OSU-Cascades won't have to pay for the mandated road work. It frees up money to spend on utilities and roads at 1,500-acre Juniper Ridge.
Juniper Ridge is now the much cheaper alternative than the pumice pit and demolition dump, which total about 100 acres, on Bend's overcrowded west side.
A recent engineering report said OSU-Cascades could build on the pumice pit, but there is much remedial work to be done that could push the tab close to $20 million just to make the pumice pit ready for any utility work or roads. Naturally, OSU has not set a limit on what it will pay to fix the site, according to the local paper.
In other words, OSU-Cascades could save at least $20 million taxpayers' dollars by simply opting to build OSU-Cascades at Juniper Ridge, which was designed for such a school. The pumice pit and demo dump were not created so that a four-year university could be built there.
The Bend-La Pine School District spent $7.2 million just to fix a football field and the track that surrounds it and there are no buildings on the football field or track.
Also, developers at nearby NorthWest Crossing replaced about 600,000 cubic yards of pumice on land for its expansion of that development. But, this area isn't for homes, but rather a large park that will have no sizable buildings on them, let alone a two-story home.
And yet, we are supposed to believe that multi-story classrooms and dorms could be built on land more unstable than the land at NorthWest Crossing.
What a bad joke.
Juniper Ridge is looking better and better than the money pit on Bend's west side.