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Project comes with four month closure of popular Gorge road

Posted by 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.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. BikePortland is an inclusive company with no tolerance for discrimination or harassment including expressions of racism, sexism, homophobia, or xenophobia. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

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9watts
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9watts

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

meh
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meh

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.

meh
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meh

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.

woogie
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woogie

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?

sorebore
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sorebore

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

Dave Cary
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Dave Cary

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?

J_R
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J_R

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.

Peter P.
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Peter P.

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!

Art Fuldodger
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Art Fuldodger

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?