During construction, you will still be able to get to your favorite spot on the mountain or wherever you are heading. However, the reality is construction will delay people moving through the area. While we will have some short-term highway closures and there will be some delays, we will work to keep people moving.
Here is what to expect when construction takes place during the months of April – October:
Travelers should expect closures up-to one hour three days a week Monday through Thursday in the early evening between 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. for blasting the rock slopes. ODOT is still working the details to the exact time of these closures. Not all of these closures will take a full hour. However, it is best to plan on being delayed for an hour during these times. The closures are times based on how many vehicles are using U.S. 26 and on available sunlight. Nearby trails will also close briefly during the blasting operations.
- No construction work will occur from November to March of each year. During this time all three lanes will re-open.
Increased Truck Traffic
Nearly a million cubic yards of rocks and other materials will go to several disposal sites on Mt. Hood. These sites include: ODOT Maintenance yard at U.S. 26 and OR 35 Junction, Tamarack Quarry, Laurel Quarry and two sites along Lolo Pass Road. This means increased traffic on U.S. 26 and the roads leading to these disposal sites.
ODOT will make sure the roads leading to these sites are maintained during construction and will return to pre-construction conditions after work is complete.
More details about how construction will affect travelers will be available in early 2013. Construction will take place for three years starting in 2014.
Crashes and Safety Concerns on U.S. 26
The Mt. Hood Highway is one of the most beautiful drives in Oregon taking travelers through the Mt. Hood National Forest. However, many safety concerns exist along this highway and many crashes have occurred. And sadly, some crashes prove fatal.
Crashes between a half-mile east of Kiwanis Camp Road to east of the Mirror Lake Trail Head (mileposts 49.4-52.2) from 2002-2011
109 crashes occurred
30 were cross-over crashes of which
11 crashes were head-on
4 people died
88 people were injured
The purpose of this project is to reduce the crossover crashes that cause severe injury and even death. Placing a concrete barrier in the middle of U.S. 26 can help reduce the most severe of crashes.
An independent team of traffic safety, emergency response, and highway professionals performed a Road Safety Audit of U.S. 26 between Camp Creek and Government Camp determined that placing a concrete median as well as reducing rockfalls and extending passing lanes would improve highway safety.
To learn more about the safety audit and crashes along U.S. 26 click here