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Several popular roads set for paving, construction projects

Posted by on August 3rd, 2012 at 1:52 pm

Sauvie Island Strawberry Ride

Expect a smoother road —
and a traffic mess — on Sauvie Island.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

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!

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I seem to recall reading about bridgework on Old Cornelius Pass, which cuts off access to Phillips from Skyline, and apparently Germantown will be out, too. For good measure, let’s close down Bull Run and Larch Mountain so I can hang up my road bike for the year.

Just this once, “getting ready for ‘cross season” doesn’t sound like such a lame excuse.


Jonathan, here’s a couple other projects that should be noted. While neither of these are technically in the Portland Metro Area, both are routes used by touring or road cyclists in the area:

-Slab Creek Rd. and Old Scenic Hwy. 101 are closed from June 25 through August 31, 2012. Slab Creek is old 101 over Cascade Head south of Pacific City and north of Lincoln City. So cyclists have to take 101 over Cascade Head.

-The Nestucca River Road will be closed from July 9 to August 17, to improve stream access for spawning and rearing Oregon Coast coho salmon. The road will be closed 18.9 miles east of Beaver at the Hoag Pass Junction, and closed 18.7 miles west of Carlton at Dovre Campground. Fan Creek and Elk Bend Campgrounds will also be closed during this period.
More info here:


Wise of them to completely close Germantown to everyone but residents who live there.