Report underway on request to pave Whiskey Butte Road

Linn County Roadmaster Darrin Lane emphasized that he is taking a request for paving from Whiskey Butte Road residents seriously as he develops a report to the Linn County Board of Commissioners.

Residents of the road sent a petition in the form of a letter to the Linn County Board of Commissioners. The commissioners referred the request to the Road Department for a report.

The report will talk about the characteristics of the roadway, located between Sweet Home and Cascadia. It will include information on requirements for upgrading the roadway to county standards and the cost. It also will determine where the road falls among county priorities.

“We can’t just go up there and start paving,” Lane said. The road has sharp curves and steep grades. It would need to be widened with a new base from its current 15 to 18 feet to 22 feet with four-foot gravel shoulders and drainage. That means the county needs to obtain right-of-way. “That would be a huge project.”

Once the county determines what is needed and what the project would cost, it also needs to weigh it against other roads that need improvement, Lane said. Among those are Mountain Home-Sodaville Road, Sunnyside to McDowell Creek Road and Courtney Creek Road.

“It is something we take very seriously when people send such a petition,” Lane said.

Fiftieth Avenue is a project that was initiated by petition, Lane said. The county is currently negotiating with three property owners for the remaining right-of-way necessary for the project, and the county has spent a considerable amount of money already in purchasing right-of-way for the project.

The project is a mile and half long and is expected to cost about $1 million. When it begins depends on when the last of the right-of-way is purchased.

Lane said he expects the report to be complete within two weeks. After that, the residents of Whiskey Butte can approach the Board of Commissioners to talk about what is in the report, and the commissioners can consider the issue.