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Enter the virtual open house



Construction will resume April 1, 2015

March 30, 2015

For information: Kimberly Dinwiddie, 503-539-8454, Kimberly.Dinwiddie@odot.state.or.us

Project website: www.US26MtHoodSafety.org

Video of season one work: https://youtu.be/kgfhkhSNNHg

Travelers using U.S. 26 on Mt. Hood will encounter delays this spring through fall

Safety project means one hour road closures and only one lane in each direction starting April 1

Construction will delay travelers over Mt. Hood on U.S. 26 with congestion, one hour road closures, 20-minute traffic stops and increased truck traffic west of Government Camp. This project will take place April through October in 2015 and 2016.

This is the second season of work on a multi-year project to improve safety by reducing severe injury and fatal crossover crashes and rocks that are falling from the over 100 foot cliffs into U.S. 26.

Starting Wednesday, April 1, K&E Excavating will reduce U.S. 26 to one-lane in each direction along a nearly three mile section from east of Kiwanis Camp Road to east of Mirror Lake. This will allow the contractor to work behind a barrier on the cliffs that are now too close to the road and drop rocks into the roadway. This lane configuration will remain in place until Oct. 31.

As the contractor stripes the road, travelers will encounter traffic stops of up to 20 minutes.

Blasting the rock slopes will require closures of up to one hour three evenings a week, Monday, Wednesday andThursday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. During the blasting closures, flaggers will stop travelers at Kiwanis Camp Road and at the west end of Government Camp to prevent traffic from stopping on the steep slopes of U.S. 26. The blasting closures will be posted on www.TripCheck.com in advance and we ask travelers to plan around these closures. At this time, dates for blasting have not been scheduled.

You will still be able to get to where you are going during construction however delays are expected. Construction will take place Monday through Saturday and can take place around-the-clock. Here is how construction will affect travel:

·     Only one lane will be open in each direction around-the-clock from April 1 through October 31.

·     Closures of up to hour on U.S. 26 for blasting the rock slopes on U.S. 26, three days a week, Monday through Thursday between 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

·     Intermittent traffic stops lasting 20-minutes anytime the contractor is actively working.

·     Increased truck traffic on U.S. 26.

·     Increased truck traffic on Lolo Pass and Trillium Lake Roads starting in early to mid-April

·     Intermittent single lane closures and flagging for other work instead of full highway closures.

·     Possible around-the-clock flagging at Map Curve Monday through Friday from early April to late May.

·     Construction work will not occur on holidays or Sundays.

·     No construction work will occur from November to March of each year. During this time all lanes will be open.

You can learn more about how construction will affect you by visiting an online open house that will be available March 30 at www.US26MtHoodSafetyOpenHouse.org. ODOT will host an open house from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday, March 30 at the Resort at the Mountain 68010 East Fairway Avenue, Welches, OR, 97067.

Project Elements:

ODOT will construct a project along a nearly eight mile stretch of U.S. 26 between Kiwanis Camp Road and OR 35 to improve safety by reducing severe crossover crashes and rockfall.

·     Paving an eight mile section of U.S. 26 between Silent Rock and OR 35

·     Cutting back the slope along a 600 foot section at Map Curve to provide a 27 foot wide ditch for rocks to land away from the road·

·     Cutting back the rock slope east of the runaway truck ramp to east of the Mirror Lake trailhead·

·     Highway widening to install a median barrier·

·     Placing a concrete barrier along a 1.6 mile section between the east and westbound lanes of U.S. 26 from just east of the run away truck ramp and east of the Mirror Lake curves.

·     Construction of a retaining wall to reduce impacts to existing trails from highway widening work·

·     Extending the westbound passing lanes for a total of about 1,400 feet·

Project Schedule: Work is expected to take place in the months of April-October each year in 2015 and 2016.


Aug. 20, 2015 Lolo Pass Public Meeting Details

Thank you for sharing you concerns and ideas about trucks on Lolo Pass Road and other haul roads. Here is a summary of the concerns from the public and the responses from ODOT. LoloPassRoadMeetingResponses.pdfLoloPassRoadMeetingResponses.pdf
Below is the video shown at the Aug. 20 Public Meeting describing the hauling operations for the U.S. 26 Mt. Hood Safety Project.

 U.S. 26 Mt. Hood Safety Projec Hauling Operations

 Below is a video summary of ODOT's presentation and responses at the Aug. 20, 2014 meeting.

 Aug. 20, 2014 Lolo Pass Road Meeting Snapshot


Project Summary

The Oregon Department of Transportation is currently designing a project to improve safety by reducing severe crossover crashes that lead to fatalities and serious injuries and reduce rockfalls on the Mt. Hood Highway (U.S. 26) just east of Rhododendron and Oregon Highway 35.
Work will include:
  • Placing a concrete barrier between the east and westbound lanes of U.S. 26.

  • Cutting back the rock slope from the highway and building retaining walls to protect historic trails

  • Repave nearly eight miles of U.S. 26 from east of Rhododendron to OR 35

Construction Impacts


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.
  • Intermittent traffic stops lasting 20-minutes anytime the contractor is actively working
  • One lane closed between Kiwanis Camp Road and Mirror Lake around-the-clock for rockfall and retaining wall work. This means only one lane will remain open in each direction.
    (See photo to the right) Mt Hood Safety Project_Temporary Work Zone_Draft 8-23-13 (2).jpg

  • Increased truck traffic on U.S. 26 and on roads leading to disposal sites including Lolo Pass Road, Trillium Lake Road and Laurel Road.
  • Intermittent single lane closures and flagging for other work instead of full highway closures.
  • Construction work will not occur on holidays and Sundays.
  • 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. crashmthood2.JPG
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.



  • Construction Began – July 2014
  • Construction Ends* - 2016
  • *subject to change based upon weather and site condition


 More Information 

Read ODOT's responses the written comments submitted to ODOT in the spring of 2013 from the virtual and in person open houses.

Written Public Comments from Spring 2013.pdfWritten Public Comments from Spring 2013.pdf

Read the frequently asked questions that we heard in the spring of 2013 and the responses from ODOT.
Review documents sent from ODOT to FHWA describing inconveniences and temporary closures to the Laurel Hill Chute, Mirror Lake and Pioneer Bridle Trails during construction of the U.S. 26 Mt. Hood Safety Project.
Virtual Open House from March 2013 explaining safety concerns and project elements:


Contact Information


For questions or comments about the Mount Hood Highway Safety Project, please contact: 
Kimberly Dinwiddie, ODOT Community Affairs


(503) 731-8281

*Official project name as noted in the Statewide Transportation Improvement Plan is FFO-US26: MP 49.2 - MP57.45