Construction will take place from April 1 through October 31 in 2014, 2015 and 2016. 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:
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 and K&E Excavating are committed to safety. Truck drivers are required to follow all traffic laws and be aware of other people using the road.
Trucks are hauling rocks, trees and other materials from the slopes of U.S. 26 to several sites on Mt. Hood. Hauling will occur April through October in 2014 and 2015, starting at sunrise and until 7 p.m. We apologize for the inconvenience.
Here are some things you can do to stay safe when sharing the road with trucks:
BE VISIBLE: If you are walking, jogging, riding a bike or riding a horse be as visible as possible and wear reflective clothing.
LISTEN for oncoming trucks and do not use head phones that could block the sound of trucks approaching.
BLIND SPOTS: When riding a bike, ride with traffic and in the middle of the travel lane so you do not end up in a trucks blind spot.
WALK FACING TRAFFIC: When walking, walk on the opposite side of the road to keep your eye on oncoming traffic and be more easily seen.
PULL OUT SAFELY: When pulling out of your driveway onto the haul roads, fully stop and look for trucks and other road users before proceeding. Consider parking so that you can pull out of your driveway rather than back out to increase your ability to see oncoming trucks.
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