Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on May 3rd, 2018 at 3:42 pm
This week is usually about the time we get to share the news that the McKenzie Highway (OR 242) is open only for biking, walking, and rolling. It’s a carfree wonderland on one of Oregon’s most scenic byways that usually happens in the period after crews have done their first pass of plowing, and before the road can open to cars and trucks.
But this year is different. And if you’re planning to head out there to knock this classic ride of your bucket list (it is an official Oregon Scenic Bikeway after all), be advised: The Oregon Department of Transportation announced today that the management of McKenzie Pass will have some key changes this year.
Because of last summer’s Milli wildfire, there’s still a lot of work to be done to clear trees and debris along the highway. ODOT says they have to repair “serious damage on and adjacent to the highway.” During the week (Monday through Thursday) they have heavy equipment on the highway and no one is allowed to travel on it. From Friday through Sunday, however, the road is open. But conditions are much worse than past years.
In fact, if ODOT’s “Extreme Danger” signs don’t scare you away, there’s this line from today’s statement:
“Visitors, including cyclists and pedestrians, must be aware that ODOT is not maintaining the highway for wheeled travel at this time, and visitors are on the highway at their own risk.”
ODOT also announced that the highway will open to all vehicles (including those pesky four-wheeled ones with big motors) on June 18th.
So if you head out there, be advised that conditions could be a bit more interesting than usual. Maybe throw on some bigger tires to roll over the debris and roots and such.
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