We’re smack dab in the middle of the long-awaited summer riding season here in the Portland region. Unfortunately, the dry weather is also prime time for city, county, and state transportation agencies to do major repaving and road projects. Several have come across my desk in recent days so I figured I’d put them front page so you can better plan your rides and/or know what to expect out there. If you know of other road projects that impact popular riding roads, please add them into the comments.
The first project will impact a major gateway to riding in the Gorge. The Federal Highway Administration is set to begin a four month closure out on the Historic Columbia River Highway near Crown Point. I first shared word of this back in February. Earlier this week, an FHWA staffer emailed an update and asked me to share it with the community.
The Federal Highway Administration – Western Federal Lands, is ramping up to start construction on the Crown Point Viaduct Project, which impacts a section of the Historic Columbia River Highway between its intersection with Larch Mountain Road and Latourell Falls. Construction will involve repairing and restoring the viaduct that carries the highway around the Vista House and repaving several miles of highway. If you’re out for a weekday training ride, expect delays of up to 30 minutes starting next week and going through August.
“In September, the road will be closed to everyone, including cyclists and pedestrians, between the Vista House and Latourell Falls. Expect road closures to be in effect on weekends as well. The Vista House will still be open.
From October 1st to December 31st, the entire section of the historic highway between Larch Mountain and Latourell will be closed. The Vista House will also be closed to the public during this time.
If your heart is set on riding to Multnomah Falls (or beyond) during the closure periods, and you’re up for the fun of a dirt/gravel/pavement ride, the Alex Barr Rd and Palmer Mill Rd routes should be open and accessible. Otherwise, we ask that you please stay out of the closed construction areas.”
In other news, Multnomah County announced paving projects that will impact three popular bicycling roads: Gillihan Road on Sauvie Island, NW Rocky Point Road in the west hills above Highway 30, and NW Germantown Road from Skyline west to the Multnomah County line. More info on those projects here.
Get ready to see flaggers, traffic delays, people in cars that are even more anxious and stressed out than usual, and some loose gravel on these roads. In the end though, we’ll have smoother roads to roll on!