Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on January 19th, 2018 at 12:38 pm
I have some bad news. Unless, that is, you drive a car on NW Newberry Road.
One of our area’s most popular climbs has been carfree since a major landslide destroyed a section of it one year ago. Newberry Road snakes up from Highway 30 about 10 miles north of downtown Portland. It’s part of many nice routes from Skyline Road and other destinations well beyond. It’s so well loved that River City Bicycles even made a short video about it recently (which has a great shot of the damaged section of road):
During major storms last year, half the pavement fell into the hillside. The damage is about a half-mile up from Highway 30 and Multnomah County was forced to close the road to auto users. People can still drive their homes from the top or the bottom, but no through driving is allowed. The result has been a blissfully quiet road you can climb without the stress of passing drivers or the toxic fumes that come out of their tailpipes. Being carfree has made a good climb, great.
Unfortunately Newberry’s carfree days are numbered. If things go according to the County’s plan they’ll have it rebuilt by
this summer next winter.
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According to Chris Fick, chief of staff for Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson, they’ve nailed down the $1.8 million needed for the rebuild (with funds from the Federal Highway Administration).
Fick says there are two property owners the County is currently negotation right-of-way issues with, but the design work is 90 percent complete. Once construction begins (either this summer or fall) it should take about four months to finish. At the latest, it will be re-opened to drivers by
this coming fall winter 2019.
So get out there and enjoy those peaceful pedal strokes while you can.
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