(Update: Oct. 10, 2016) After three years, 51,000 pounds of explosives, 317,804 cubic yards of excavation and thousands of truck trips, the U.S. 26 Mt. Hood Safety Project is complete.
ODOT and K&E Excavating thank the public for their patience during construction of this safety project.
Rhododendron to OR 35
Cost and Funding
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.
The project included:
- 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.
- Repaving nearly eight miles of U.S. 26 from east of Rhododendron to OR 35.
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.
What Problem Will This Improve?
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