Behind the scenes
In August, we took elected officials and community stakeholders behind the scenes to tour three-miles of the Historic Highway State Trail under construction between Cascade Locks and Hood River.
We have an ambitious goal to complete all remaining segments of the Historic Highway and State Trail. In order to meet this goal, we need YOUR help!
- We hope you will be champions of this project in your community. Share stories about the progress we’ve made and the potential this project has to boost our local economies so that people on both sides of the Gorge, in Portland, in Salem and in Olympia are informed and excited about the reconnection.
- Please let us know if you would like ODOT staff to make a presentation about the reconnection effort in your community. We’re happy to!
Feedback needed: Congestion and Safety Plan
State and federal governmental partners responsible for public safety, traffic flow and natural resource management started an action plan to build on prior planning efforts and implement solutions to address increasing concerns with traffic congestion and transportation safety in the waterfall corridor. Early next year, the partners will finalize a Congestion and Transportation Safety Improvement Plan.
We’re looking for your input on draft solutions to address congestion and safety issues. Save the dates below to have your say online or in-person.
- Online Open House: Sept. 24 – Oct. 8, 2018
Learn about and comment on draft solutions on your own time. The online open house will be available on the project website.
- In-Person Open House: Oct. 3, 2018 5-7 pm
Join us at the Hollywood Senior Center in Portland to talk to staff about draft solutions and share your comments. Drop in anytime.
Historic Highway remains closed
There is currently no timeline for reopening the six miles of the Historic Highway closed since the Eagle Creek Fire.
The highway between Bridal Veil and Ainsworth State Park has remained closed since Sept. 4, 2017, two days after the start of the fire. ODOT had hoped to reopen this section of road this fall but new slides have delayed those plans.
We are seeing continued rockfall in the closed area, including the rock pictured.
Columbia Gorge Express fall schedule
Now that the peak summer tourism season is over, CGE staff is working to modify the schedule as we move into the slower fall and winter seasons. Stay tuned at the end of September for more information.
State Trail wayfinding signs installed
The Friends of the Historic Columbia River Highway applied for and received a Regional Trail Program grant to create and install wayfinding sings along the Columbia River Highway State Trail.
We’re happy to report that our contractor installed the signs the week of Aug. 20 at John B. Yeon Trailhead, Toothrock Trailhead, Starvation Creek Trailhead, and Hatfield East and West Trailheads. The footings for the sign at the Bridge of the Gods Trailhead were placed and we’re scheduled to install the sign mid-month.
ODOT is using construction funds to add a new sign at the Wyeth trailhead once the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail segment from Wyeth to Lindsey Creek is complete in summer 2019.
In Memoriam: Lewis McArthur
The late Lewis L. McArthur had a long interest in historic preservation in Oregon, including preserving the Historic Columbia River Highway. In the early 1970s, Oregon Governor Tom McCall appointed Lew to the State Advisory Committee on Historic Preservation, which reviews nominations for listing historic properties in Oregon on the National Register of Historic Places.
By the 1980s, many folks expressed interest in restoring and rehabilitating the Historic Highway. Dave Talbot, Oregon State Parks superintendent, appointed Lew the chair of a new ad hoc committee to study the Historic Highway and see what could be done with the parts that the state abandoned in the 1940s and 1950s when it began constructing what is today Interstate 84. Shortly thereafter, in 1987, the state legislature passed a bill creating the Historic Columbia River Highway Advisory Committee. Lew was an original member and the first chair, serving from 1988 to 1997.
During his tenure as chair, the Advisory Committee spearheaded efforts to repair drivable portions of the highway and rehabilitate abandoned segments to be parts of the Historic Highway State Trail. The trail segments included Starvation Creek to Viento, Tanner Creek to Eagle Creek, and Hood River to Mosier. These were the very first of many Historic Highway State Trail reconnection projects that have taken place over the past 25 years.
Read more about Lewis McArthur and his connection with the Historic Columbia River Highway.
Read the Oregonian’s article on Lewis McArthur.