News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

Detroit, Idanha target projects for ODOT road funds

Reporter for The Canyon Weekly

Detroit and Idanha will be spending $250,000 apiece in state funds to work on needed road and sidewalk projects.

The Oregon Department of Transportation awarded the $250,000 grants to the two Santiam Canyon communities as part of a $6.1 million round of funding targeting small cities of 5,000 population or less. ODOT approved 27 projects, with the $250,000 heading to Detroit and Idanha matching the largest grants awarded. The projects ranged from adding sidewalks to chip-sealing roads, paving city streets and improving intersections.

Detroit will be using the funds to repave East Forest Avenue and add a walkway to the street, which crosses busy Highway 22.

“We’re going to repave it and realign it a little bit,” said Councilor Greg Sheppard, who also serves as Detroit’s streets commissioner. “And we want to make sure the walkway faces traffic. If people are walking with their backs to the traffic that’s an accident waiting to happen.”

In fact, when ODOT officials came to Detroit for a site visit during the grant approval process, a big semi came barreling past the group.

“That was perfect timing,” Sheppard said. “It really showed why we need the walkway.”

Detroit already had $100,000 in hand to work on the walkway when ODOT encouraged the city to pitch the larger $250,000 grant.

“I knew that $100,000 wouldn’t be enough,” Sheppard said. 

“But I also knew turning down the $100,000 was a bit of a risk so I took the idea to the full council and they said ‘go for it.’ ” 

Sheppard, who said the city already has done a lot of preliminary work on the project design, indicated the city hopes to get the work done by late spring or early summer.

Sheppard said that the $250,000 comes on top of $700,000 in earlier ODOT funding in the past four years that has helped pave areas of Patton Road, Detroit Avenue and Scott Street.

“They’ve been pretty good to us up here,” Sheppard said of ODOT. 

Meanwhile, Idanha will use its $250,000 grant for work on Mountain Avenue, said Rebecca Stormer of the City of Idanha.

“Mountain Avenue is being fixed and upgraded,” Stormer said. “We appreciate the ODOT grant. 

“This is the second one we have received in the past four years,” Stormer said of the $250,000 grant. “With being such a small community, we do not have the revenue to replace our roads.”

Stormer said the project more than likely will start in the spring.

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