The Baker City Public Works Department’s recent project is hard to miss.

Employees have placed more than two dozen boulders of varying sizes on Windmill Road east of Interstate 84, at the Court Avenue Plaza downtown between Main and Resort streets, and at the Sam-O Skate Park.

Around 30 boulders were brought in from the city’s property at Goodrich Creek, about 12 miles northwest of town, to replace concrete barriers and safety cones.

The project was completed in a week.

Public Works Director Michelle Owen said public works employees discussed the idea during a crew meeting after looking at the orange cones on Windmill Road.

The cones were set up after the road was chip-sealed this year and after the new Oregon State Police station was built.

The boulders, Owen said, “look a lot better than orange safety cones.”

Twenty boulders replaced safety cones on Windmill Road to prevent truck drivers from driving over the curb.

Workers then chose other places where the boulders could serve a similar purpose.

Four boulders have replaced concrete blocks on the east end of the Court Avenue Plaza, where the street is closed to traffic.

Owen said the boulders are effective but smaller than the blocks, making the bronze Salt Lick statue more visible.

“I think it just balances that area out and makes it easier to see the sculpture,” Owen said.

Around ten boulders replaced concrete Jersey barriers at the Sam-O Skate Park parking area.

“That tied in really nicely because we had also used a couple of boulders in each of the dog parks,” Owen said.

Public Works employees Justin Plumbtree and Brian Johnson selected the boulders from the Goodrich Creek site.

“It was just a way to be resourceful with some materials that we already had,” Owen said.

The city brought in similar boulders several years ago to line the Leo Adler Memorial Parkway section near Wade Williams Elks Memorial Park to protect walkers from vehicular traffic.

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