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Project comes with four month closure of popular Gorge road

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on February 3rd, 2012 at 12:24 pm

Crown Point is a popular biking destination.
(Photo: Carye Bye)

For four months beginning this fall, a Federal Highway Administration project in the Columbia River Gorge will come with a road closure that will prohibit vehicle access — including bikes — to popular bicycling routes on the Historic Columbia River Highway (HCRH).

The Crown Point Viaduct Project will replace the aging, 600-foot long "half-bridge" that supports the sidewalk around Vista House, a popular viewpoint and destination. The project area also includes restoration to portions of the HCRH between Larch Mountain Road and Crown Point, and between Crown Point and Latourell Falls. (Fun trivia: The HCRH is one of only two roads in the United States designated as a National Historic Landmark, a National Scenic Byway, and a National Historic District.)

The viaduct.
(Photo: ODOT)

Due to construction, a portion of the road will be closed to all vehicles (that means bikes too) from September 4th through December 31st of this year. Here are the specifics on the two closures that impact bike access:

September 4 - September 30, 2012: From Crown Point to Latourell Falls, the historic highway will be closed to all vehicles, including bicycles

October 1 - December 31, 2012: From its intersection with Larch Mountain Road to Latourell Falls, the historic highway will be closed to all vehicles, including bicycles.

The project is slated to begin in August, so stay tuned to the official project website for the latest info about road closures and other issues.

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Comments
  • 9watts February 3, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    I think a lot of the original highway (1913-22) was built mostly with horses and human power, not so many fossil fuels.

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  • meh February 3, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    A little slanted report. The first sentence makes it sound like just bikes are being restricted from the roads. It's not until the third paragraph that you find out that "a portion of the road will be closed to all vehicles" .

    Is the intent of the article to whip up emotions or to inform of a road closure that includes all vehicles not just bicycles.

    Sometimes it isn't about the bike.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) February 3, 2012 at 2:27 pm

      meh.. seriously? You really think I'm trying to slant a story about a road closure? Umm no. You just read it that way. I made a little edit to the first line that I hope suits you better. Cheers.

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    • ovrdbrs February 3, 2012 at 3:07 pm

      This is bikeportland.org not vehicleportland.org. the empahsis should be on the bike.

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      • middle of the road guy February 3, 2012 at 3:54 pm

        Then nothing anyone says should be taken seriously as it is obviously biased.

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        • matt picio February 5, 2012 at 6:47 pm

          Nothing anyone says should be taken *too* seriously anyway.

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      • middle of the road guy February 3, 2012 at 3:55 pm

        Nor should anyone complain about what gets posted in the Oregonian.

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        • naess February 3, 2012 at 10:45 pm

          yeah.... except it's called "the oregonian" not the "anti-bikegonian."

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  • meh February 4, 2012 at 8:02 am

    If you can't report something as simple as a complete road closure without trying to foment some sort of response from cyclists, well then the bias has become more important than the reporting.

    Maybe the issue is that I never know if you are wearing you reporter hat or your commentator hat, because you flit from one to the other as a defense of what appears in your blog. Is this a news story or a commentary? How about a white hat icon to indicate pure news and a black hat icon to indicate commentary at the top of each article. It would help to understand the focus of the report.

    And those of you using the Oregonian as justification for bias while always trying to rip them a new one for that same bias is hypocritical. You have lost the moral high ground in that fight. You can't use someone's bad behavior to justify your own bad behavior all the while denouncing that same bad behavior.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) February 4, 2012 at 8:24 am

      Meh,

      Again, I completely disagree w your accusation that I reported this story with any intentional bias. Can you share which passage(s) seemed biased to you ?

      I know I mix commentary and news on the front page and it might be different than other news sites you visit; but I try to not mix them within the same story.

      I honestly don't fully understand why this story in particular bothers you so much. I wrote it as a straight-up news story. If I focused more on the bike closure aspect, that's because this is a bike-oriented site.

      Why do you assume that I am angry at something and/or I'm trying to whip up some controversy? Thanks for for the feedback.

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    • Jonathan Gordon February 4, 2012 at 5:28 pm

      I miss the dislike button.

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  • woogie February 4, 2012 at 8:12 am

    Not that I agree with MEH, but if you didn't feel that there was some truth in his statement about bias, why did you change the posting?

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) February 4, 2012 at 8:18 am

      I made the very very minor change because I thought it might make the opening a bit more clear. I have to say, I really do not understand meh's issues with this post. Actually, I should say I understand them but I disagree completely. I'm happy to have a debate about bias - which all journalists have whether they admit it or not - but on this post? I just don't see it.

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      • meh February 4, 2012 at 12:52 pm

        Hard to put forward the portion of the article that was biased when it's been removed.

        But as I remember it the first paragraph spoke of the closure only in terms of bikes be restricted from the roads. It was not until the third paragraph that the roads were closed to all vehicular traffic.

        The article now presents as a basic news item on a road closure, not a road closure with sinister bike overtones that the original presented.

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        • Tom M February 4, 2012 at 10:15 pm

          Whatever. Take your beefs somewhere else. It's news and information in particular as they relate to bicycles since this is a bicycling site. That's all. Want real bias? Go to the Oregonian or Faux News(unfair and more biased than Pravda). Telling Faux new off would actually do some good for all of us.

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  • sorebore February 4, 2012 at 9:14 am

    you all iz drivin' me kwazzzy wid dis sheeiiit!!!

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  • Dave Cary February 4, 2012 at 11:34 am

    For Christ's sakes, let it be. He said the road would be closed to all vehicles - including bikes. I know I try to go around a road closure on my bike sometimes just to see if I can. I interpret this as saying "don't even try." What's so difficult about that?

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  • J_R February 4, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    It's nice that it's scheduled for after the highest biycling activity months. It most certainly would be easier, cheaper construction if it were done during the peak summer season. Dealing with wet and cold is no more fun for a construction project than it is for a cycling trip.

    Thanks for the heads up, Jonathan.

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  • Peter P. February 4, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    Now that the dustup is over, we can discuss something that matters. Namely, how to bypass w/o riding the freeway all the way. Never bothered looking on a map, but there's a few awesome gravel tracks that descend off Larch mountain road. I believe the first one is a couple miles up. Enjoy!

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  • Art Fuldodger February 6, 2012 at 11:46 am

    there's a gravel road named "Palmers Mill" that starts near Bridal Veil and climbs up (& up & up) to Brower Rd. (paved?), which connects to Larch Mt. Rd. - I have a faint memory of riding up this - or perhaps pushing the bike - years ago; or maybe it was somewhere else on the Gorge? Anyone care to verify this roads' existence/condition?

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    • Mark nelsen March 10, 2012 at 12:59 am

      I live up here. You have two options...both are similar and have about 800' drop down gravel roads. Larch to Haines then down Alex Barr Rd. Or larch to Brower then down Palmer mill Rd. The first involves less elevation gain/loss.

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      • Mark Nelsen March 10, 2012 at 1:02 am

        Larch, Haines, & Brower are all paved. And if going uphill, I'd only do Alex Barr, steep, but a nice steady grade.

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