Greenroads Pilot Project

US 97: Lava Butte to S. Century Drive Section



Owner: Oregon Department of Transportation
Contract Price: $16 Million
Project Length: 3.8 miles
Functional Class: Arterial
Greenroads Score: 46 Points


The US 97: Lava Butte - S. Century Drive Section Project involves increasing the capacity of the existing two- and three-lane highway to four lanes (two lanes in each direction separated by a forested median), reconstructing the Cottonwood Road interchange, and constructing an alternative access to Lava Lands Visitor Center. The project was needed because the existing lane configuration of US 97 did not provide for adequate capacity for existing and forecast travel demand, nor were there safe ways to access and exit the highway at several key locations in the project area.

This Pilot Project was done as part of University of Washington research for the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT).

More information about the project can be found at the Oregon Department of Transportation's website.

US 97 Lava Butte to S. Century Drive Pilot Project Report (University of Washington Report) (3,733 kb)

The new divided highway alignment looking North toward Lava Butte

Lava Butte Aerial

Protecting the scenic view was a primary design goal for this project.  By leaving existing trees in the median much the highway is not noticeable from the top of Lava Butte.

Lava Butte Scenic View

This project involved the construction of two new lanes of highway, which are separated from the original two lanes by a forested median.

Lava Butte Finished

This under crossing was designed for the exclusive use of wildlife.

Lava Butte Wildlife Crossing

Texture and pigment were applied to bridge abutments (shown here before pigment was applied) to make them blend with the natural geology.

Lava Butte Fractured Limestone Facing

Existing trees were left standing between the two lanes of traffic to create a more natural corridor and to preserve the scenic view.

Lava Butte Forested Median

Bridge structures were designed to provide crevices where bats can roost.

Lava Butte Habitat Creation