Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on May 9th, 2017 at 9:26 am
A major rock slide has closed a popular bicycling route just east of the Rowena Curves overlook on the Historic Columbia River Highway (US 30). It happened Sunday evening and there were no injuries.
The Rowena Curves are between Hood River and The Dalles.
Here’s the latest from ODOT:
“The overlook area is open to traffic from the west end. After further investigation from our ODOT geologist, the slide area is very unstable and will take a combination of rock scaling and rock bolting to make the area safe for public. We will continue to perform additional investigation and develop a repair plan tomorrow. The preliminary estimate for completing all the repair work is 2 – 3 weeks. The slide area is about 200 feet in length and the rock face is about 150’ high. There is approximately 700 cubic yards (70 – dump truck loads) of rock debris on the highway… In the meantime, the historic highway remains closed to all vehicles, including bicycles, and hikers in the vicinity of the slide.”
The iconic Rowena Curves are a frequent star of bicycle routes and with the spring riding season in full swing, this closure comes at an unfortunate time. Hopefully ODOT crews can safely clear the slide. We’ll update this post with a precise map of the closure location and any updates about when the road will re-open. For now, please alter your routes and avoid this area. ODOT says it’s very unsafe and they do not want any bicycle riders trying to squeeze by — even if it seems passable.
UPDATE: Here’s a photo of mine I’ve edited to show where the slide occurred: