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Construction of a project to improve safety along U.S. 26 on Mt. Hood will affect you. Learn how to avoid delays and what ODOT is doing to improve safety.

This interactive tool includes a series of stations where you can learn more about the project. Thank you for participating.

Project Information

You may go directly to a station using the buttons below, or click the Get Started button at the top of the screen to move through the stations in order.

Stations

Why is ODOT doing this project?
What we've done so far.
Learn about the construction schedule and how construction will impact travellers.
ODOT is taking steps to reduce rockfall hazards along U.S. 26.
Preserving the scenic quality and character of the Mount Hood Highway Scenic Byway is a priority.
View images that show what each section of the highway might look like after construction is complete.
Get the latest project information and construction updates; send us your comments.

Project Need and Proposed Solutions

Why is ODOT doing this project?

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  • Road Safety Audit

    Road Safety Audit

  • Crash Locations

    Crash Locations

  • Reducing Severe Crashes

    Reducing Severe Crashes

  • Center Barrier

    Center Barrier

Problem

After implementing many of the solutions recommended in the audit for the stretch just east of Rhododendron, ODOT is studying solutions to address safety concerns from east of the runaway truck ramp to the west entrance of Ski Bowl.

Along this 2.7-mile stretch between 2003 and 2013:

  • ƒƒ 98 crashes occurred
  • ƒƒ 41 were run-off-the-road crashes
  • ƒƒ 30 were cross-over crashes
  • ƒƒ 4 people died
  • ƒƒ 88 people were injured

Solutions

The following solutions were proposed to reduce severe crossover and other crashes from east of the runaway truck ramp to east of the Mirror Lake Trailhead.

  • A median barrier between the eastbound and westbound lanes in this section to prevent head-on crashes.
  • The current passing lanes end in curvy sections which are difficult for drivers. ODOT plans to extend the downhill passing lanes for a total of about 1,400 feet. This provides drivers with more room and time to form a single lane of traffic.
  • Cutting the slopes back from the road helps drivers to recover in run off road crashes, provides drivers with better sight distance to improve curve recognition and helps reduce rockfall hazards.

Project Overview and Progress

Project Goal: Reduce Severe Crashes and Preserve U.S. 26.

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Project Elements

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  • Project Elements

    Project Elements

Project Elements

  • ƒƒPaving between Rhododendron and OR 35 Junction
  • Cutting back the rock slopes east of the runaway truck ramp
  • Highway widening to install the median barrier
  • Installing a median barrier between the east‐ and westbound lanes for about a 1.6‐mile stretch of U.S. 26 from east of the runaway truck ramp to east of Mirror Lake trailhead
  • Construction of a retaining wall to reduce impacts to existing trail from highway widening work
  • Extending the westbound passing lanes for a total of about 1,400 feet
  • Improve drainage
  • Address rockfall hazards along a 600 foot section at Map Curve

Work completed in 2015

K & E Excavating worked along U.S. 26 in 2014 and 2015. Here is what they accomplished during that time:

  • 289,000 cubic yards of rock and dirt excavated
  • 67,000 linear feet of blasting holes drilled
  • 51,000 pounds of explosives used
  • 69,000 square yards of slope matting applied
  • 11 acres of native grass seed applied to slopes
  • Four acres of permanent seed applied to slopes
  • 314 trees from the sections of removed slopes
  • used for fish restorations in nearby creeks
  • 550 hours of loose rock removal by workers on ropes
  • 6700 feet of rock bolt installations on slopes
  • 2600 tons of asphalt placed on U.S. 26
  • 350 tons of asphalt patching on Lolo Pass Road

    Schedule and Travel Impacts

    ODOT will work to keep people moving. People will still be able reach their favorite spot on the mountain or wherever they are going, but construction will mean some short‐term delays.

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    • Temporary Work Zone

      Temporary Work Zone

    • Staging Sites

      Staging Sites

    • 24-hour Flagging

      24-hour Flagging

    The 2016 Construction Season is Underway

    Construction of the final season of the U.S. 26 Mt. Hood Safety Project began in mid-March. This season, K&E Excavating will continue to work along the slopes along U.S. 26 west of Government Camp between east of Kiwanis Camp Road and east of Mirror Lake, pave U.S. 26 and place a barrier between the east and westbound lanes.

    Work will take place Monday through Saturday and could take place around-the-clock. This could change during the course of the project. Road and trail closures and flagging will not occur on major holidays or Sundays.

    Plan to Avoid Delays

    Construction will delay travel through the area. However, you will still be able to get to where you are going. Here is what to expect so you can plan to avoid delays.

    Lane closures begin March 18; starting after April 1st, expect:

    • Closures up-to one hour from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Monday’s, Tuesday’s and Thursday’s on U.S. 26 west of Government Camp for rock blasting.
    • Around-the-clock lane closure on U.S. 26 from east of Kiwanis Camp Road to east of Mirror Lake.
    • Increased truck traffic on Lolo Pass Road and Trillium Lake Road.
    • Flagging and up-to 20 minute traffic stops anytime the contractor is working.
    • Daytime and nighttime work.
    • Occasional 24-hour flagging.

    *Once determined, exact blast closure dates will be posted at www.US26MtHoodSafety.org.

    Related Handouts

    Document LinkConstruction Flyer - March 2015 (152 KB)

    Document LinkHaul Road Flyer - March 2015 (1.4 MB)


    Construction Schedule**

    Remaining Work

    ODOT and K&E Excavating plan to accomplish the following work before late fall 2016, including:

    • Rockfall improvements including building a catchment area, west of the runaway truck ramp at Map Curve
    • Build a retaining wall to protect historic Pioneer Bridle Trail
    • Highway widening to place a barrier between the east and westbound lanes along a 1.6 mile stretch of U.S. 26 between east of the runaway truck ramp to east of the Mirror Lake Curves, and to lengthen the westbound passing lanes
    • Pave an eight mile section of U.S. 26 between the west end of the project and OR 35
    • Construct drainage improvements

    **Subject to change based upon weather and site conditions


    Be Safe in Work Zones

    Travelers along U.S. 26 will encounter narrow lanes, flaggers directing traffic and road closures. The speed limit will remain 45 miles-per-hour during construction. Slow down and travel safely in the work zone so you can reach your destination and the workers on the road can work in a safe work area.

    Increased Truck Traffic on: Lolo Pass, Trillium Lake Roads, and Others

    Trucks will haul rocks, trees and other materials from the slopes of U.S. 26 to several sites on Mt. Hood. 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: Be aware of the sounds of oncoming trucks and do not use head phones that could block the sound of trucks approaching.
    • WATCH FOR 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 truck’s 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, stop fully and look for trucks and other road users before proceeding. Consider parking so that you can pull out, rather than back out, of your driveway in order to increase your ability to see oncoming trucks.

    Reducing Rockfall Hazards

    ODOT is taking steps to reduce rockfall hazards.

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    Reducing Rockfall Hazards

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    • Reducing Rockfall Hazards

      Reducing Rockfall Hazards

    Problem

    Rock falling from the slopes adjacent to U.S. 26 between Kiwanis Camp Road and Mirror Lake is hazardous to travelers.

    Currently, several rock slopes are very close to the highway alignment. As rock falls from the slope, it typically lands in the highway and becomes a hazard to motorists.

    Solution

    Move the existing rock slope away from the roadway to: ƒƒ

    • Create a more stable slope to reduce rock fall.
    • Create a wider catchment area to retain rocks that may fall from the slope.

    Rock Blasting U.S. 26 - June 15, 2015

    Approach

    Crews will use controlled blasting to loosen and break up the rock. This work will be done in stages, starting from the top and working down.

    Workers will use equipment to excavate the blasted and loosened rock. Some of the rock removed from the slope will be used for asphalt, highway widening, and the retaining wall on this project. Other forms of rock and soil stabilization will also be used.

    Environmental Considerations

    Preserving the scenic quality and character of the Mount Hood Highway Scenic Byway is a priority for ODOT.

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    Environmental Considerations

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    • Environmental Considerations

      Environmental Considerations

    During construction our environmental experts will be on site to make sure we are protecting and preserving the environmental, cultural and scenic resources. We are also working closely with our regulator partners and the U.S. Forest Service.

    The landscape will look different during construction, however our landscape architects are working with the U.S. Forest Service on a planting plan to ensure the landscape is brought back to the beauty you see today.

    Before and After Visual Simulations

    The following images show what each section of the highway might look like after construction is complete.

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    • Mirror Lake (Westbound)

      Mirror Lake (Westbound)

    • Laurel Hill (Eastbound)

      Laurel Hill (Eastbound)

    • Pioneer Bridle Trail (Eastbound)

      Pioneer Bridle Trail (Eastbound)

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    Stay Informed

    Get the latest project information and construction updates.

    • Learn how construction will affect you by visiting at www.TripCheck.com or by dialing 511
    • We will also post construction updates on our project website at www.US26MtHoodSafety.org
    • You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook @OregonDOT
    • For more information contact, Kimberly Dinwiddie, ODOT Community Affairs, at 503-731-8281

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    About this site

    This web site was developed by JLA Public Involvement and is not hosted by the Oregon Department of Transportation, though we adhere to the same accessibility guidelines. If you have any problems with the information on this page, please contact technical support, (503) 235-5881 for assistance.