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Construction begins next month on NW Newberry Rd

Posted by on December 21st, 2018 at 9:30 am

Beautiful, isn’t it?
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

Next month will be two years since a landslide wiped away a big chunk of NW Newberry Road. Multnomah County closed the winding, mountain road to through traffic in January 2017 and it has since become even more popular than usual for cycling. Newberry is one of a handful of climbs that take riders from Highway 30 up and over the west hills. It’s a welcome respite from the loud and fast traffic on “Dirty 30.”

With the closure, Newberry has become a de facto carfree climb. That is, for those people who’ve ignored the closure signs and were willing to ride around the jersey barriers.

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Now things are about to change. The County announced this week that construction is set to begin soon and the road will be fixed and reopened by spring 2019.

According to the County, construction crews will start staging on the site in mid-January and will work Monday through Thursday from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm. Construction should be done by the end of March and final paving is planned for May.

During the construction period, it would not be wise to attempt to ride Newberry. While many people have been riding through the closure up until now, with big trucks and workers on the site, we should now treat this like a hard closure. If you want to get up or down from the West Hills, I’d recommend NW McNamee Rd to the north and Germantown (which I never ride, and if I did it would only be on the weekends when there’s low traffic), Springville (very steep and unpaved!), or Saltzman (unpaved) to the north.

For more details, check the check the project website.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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Bennett Shane
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BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

Paul B
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Paul B

On one hand, “Finally!”
On the other, “Darn…”

dan
Guest
dan

I’m sure the road being out was a major inconvenience for the people who live on Newberry, but how many people is that and how much is the repair going to cost? Grouse, grouse…

Anyway, it has been a pleasure to ride car-free Newberry and I suppose all good things must come to an end. We’ll always have Saltzman.

rick
Guest
rick

If only NW McNamee Road had the road slide. It had far less car traffic and wasn’t as steep of a downhill ride. Will the county require the nearby and uphill property owners to help prevent another landside? More shrubs?

Mick O
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Mick O

You mean the county wouldn’t be swayed by a few noisy complaints about how this repair is being “rammed down our throats” and claims that “they did not engage with the community” and “this is the first we’ve heard of it” ?? I would figure having someone write a couple emails with those phrases should absolutely guarantee it would be delayed at least a year….. no? Ok.

I wonder how they manage do do it.

Fred
Guest
Fred

I’ve enjoyed many wonderful rides up this road since you pointed out the closure on this site.

On one ride, I stopped and chatted with a woman walking her dog. I asked whether the closure has been a burden. “No,” she replied, “it has actually been a blessing. My drive to town is only a little further than it was, and I love the quiet since no one drives this way anymore.”

Hmm – does quality of life for residents and other road users sometimes outweigh the convenience of drivers?

Bennett Shane
Guest
Bennett Shane

Mick O
You mean the county wouldn’t be swayed by a few noisy complaints about how this repair is being “rammed down our throats” and claims that “they did not engage with the community” and “this is the first we’ve heard of it” ?? I would figure having someone write a couple emails with those phrases should absolutely guarantee it would be delayed at least a year….. no? Ok.I wonder how they manage do do it.Recommended 1

hmm, There is about 300 ft of climbing on McNamee “descent”. My legs are usually torched by the time I see the gnomes on the left. I also very very seldom see cars on that road and I ride it regularly

Matt S.
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Matt S.

I ride up Thurman to Lief to Saltzman. I climb up to Skyline, ride back down to 30 and over St Johns. Back via Willamette. Plenty of climbing, pretty safe.

Stephen Keller
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Stephen Keller

Shucks! I was kind of hoping they’d close the road to motorized traffic. It would be nice to have one decently paved and car-free route up to Skyline.

Lisa
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Lisa

🙁

Ken S
Guest
Ken S

Objectively, the road needed to be fixed, but based on the comment from the dog walking resident that it’s been better since the road was closed, maybe there’s a compromise:
Only allow cars to travel down the hill, from skyline to 30.
Keep the uphill lane exclusively for foot and bike traffic.
There’s even a precident for this, with very steep roads like SE College or Brynwood being downhill only!

mark smith
Guest
mark smith

Yeah, it needs to be stabilized. The county had a major opportunity here to make a road for people only. But…that requires real leadership and advocacy. Instead…status quo. Build a road for cars…cars ruin it…rinse and repeat. Money for road builders and therefore money for elections!

mark smith
Guest
mark smith

Ken S
Objectively, the road needed to be fixed, but based on the comment from the dog walking resident that it’s been better since the road was closed, maybe there’s a compromise: Only allow cars to travel down the hill, from skyline to 30. Keep the uphill lane exclusively for foot and bike traffic. There’s even a precident for this, with very steep roads like SE College or Brynwood being downhill only!Recommended 3

Why do we need to compromise with death?

Dave
Guest
Dave

The timing of repairs to Newberry’s landslide damage coincide with Multnomah County’s plan to close Cornelius Pass Road (HWY30 to Kaiser) all summer for needed safety improvements. Newberry and other roads providing access across the west hills are going to see a lot more auto traffic and this will have a big impact to cyclists on these popular routes.