U.S. 26: Mill Creek to Warm Springs Grade
U.S. 26 to be restricted to one lane in the project area from August 4-9
Starting Sunday August 4 at 10 p.m. traffic will be under 24 hour flagging control until Friday, August 9th. During the day traffic will be controlled by flaggers and a pilot car with a 1 mile lane closure while the contractor works on shoulder widening and cattle pass construction. After 7 p.m. until 6 a.m. the work zone will be shortened to 1000 ft. around the cattle pass and be controlled by flaggers. The cattle pass is located at MP 94.13 which is located 1.5 miles south of Mill Creek Bridge.
General Construction News
K&E Excavating has been contracted to construct passing lanes, widen shoulders and eliminate a rockfall hazard along U.S. 26 west of Warm Springs, Oregon. Work began in July and is scheduled to be completed this fall. Excavation is planned for July and August with paving in late August and September.
Work will occur during daylight hours, Monday through Friday noon. In early August, one lane will be closed to reconstruct a cattle underpass. Traffic will be controlled by flaggers.
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Location of new passing lanes east of Mill Cr. looking east.
The majority of the work associated with this project is located between the Mill Creek Bridge (MP 92.7) and the top of the Warm Springs Grade (MP 99.0). A rockfall mitigation site located near MP 102, approximately one-half mile west of Warm Springs on the Warm Springs Grade is also included in the scope.
Vicinity Map Information Paper
|Purpose and need|
U.S. 26 is a critical part of the state’s transportation system. The highway carries a high volume of freight and tourist traffic between Portland and central Oregon, and is designated as a state freight route. Keeping roads in good condition and providing for safe travel are critical parts of the mission for the Oregon Department of Transportation.
Location of rockfall mitigation area west of Warm Spring.
In 2010, the average daily traffic through this section of highway was 4200 vehicles, of which approximately 23% were trucks. Crash reports show that over the past 10 years there have been a total of 33 crashes reported within the section of highway between MP 92.7 to MP 99.0. Four of those crashes resulted in fatalities. Of the 33 crashes, 85% were lane departure crashes resulting in four fatalities and three severe injuries. In 2003, this section of highway had a fatality crash rate six times higher than the statewide average.
Currently there are sections of this highway with steep fill slopes at the edge of the paved shoulders, leaving little or no room for errant vehicles to recover or for disabled vehicles to safely pull off the highway. ODOT passing lane guidelines suggest one mile of passing lane for every three to five miles of roadway, yet within this 28-mile section (MP 71 to MP 99) of the Warm Springs Highway within the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs (CTWS) Reservation, there is currently only one set of passing lanes. Due to the nature of the roadway, poor sight distance and an ever increasing volume of oncoming traffic throughout much of this two-lane highway, there are few opportunities to safely pass slow moving vehicles.
Region 4’s second highest priority rockfall area lies on the north side of the highway near MP 102. Rocks (some very large boulders) continue to come down onto the roadway, most recently in July of 2011. This area was also the site of a fatal accident where a vehicle struck a boulder.
|What's being proposed|
|This project is part of a larger system of projects that will ultimately provide adequate safe passing opportunities along the 28-mile section of the Warm Springs Highway that currently has only one set of passing lanes. Between MP 94.4 to MP 96.0 passing lanes will be constructed, which will increase safety by reducing the frequent, unsafe passing maneuvers that occur on this highway and continue to cause crashes that result in serious injuries and fatalities. The passing lanes will also increase the capacity of the Warm Springs Highway. |
The project will flatten embankment slopes and widen shoulders along the highway between MP 91.7 to MP 91.9, MP 92.8 to MP 94.2 and between MP 95.8 to MP 99.2. This will provide recoverable slopes for errant vehicles and wider shoulders for disabled vehicles to pull off the highway.
The project will also make improvements to, or otherwise provide further protection of three cattle underpasses which currently pose a clear-zone hazard to highway travelers.
In the rockfall area, loose rock and other unstable materials will be removed from the hillside above the roadway.
During construction in the summer of 2013, there will be single lane closures with traffic controlled by flaggers and pilot cars. Motorists should expect some delay during most aspects of the work.
|| Spring/Summer 2012|
|| January 2013 |
|| April 2013|
|| Summer/Fall 2013|
|Estimated Project Cost|
|$4.97 million |
This project is funded through ODOT Region 4 modernization and rockfall programs, federal Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) funds, and federal Public Lands Highways Discretionary (PLHD) funds.