Crews begin rock blasting for U.S. 26 Safety Project

ODOT crews begin blasting rock along Highway 26 for safety project, Sept. 4, 2014. (ODOT)
ODOT crews begin blasting rock along Highway 26 for safety project, Sept. 4, 2014. (ODOT)

HOOD RIVER COUNTY, Ore. (KOIN 6) — The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) began work on a three year safety project on U.S. 26 on Thursday.

The goal of ODOT’s Mt. Hood Highway Safety Project is to reduce severe crossover crashes that lead to fatal and serious injuries in addition to a reducing the number of rock falls in the area.

Several closures are planned for the stretch of road this month.

The first of four happened on Thursday when crews closed U.S. 26 between the west end of Government Camp and east of Kiwanis Camp Road for from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. for rock blasting. The Mirror Lake Trail was also closed at that time.

The same closures will be in effect during the same time span on Sept. 9, 11 and 16 for more rock blasting.

As part of the project, ODOT crews will place a concrete barrier between the east and westbound lanes of U.S. 26, cut back the rock slope from the highway, build retaining walls to protect historic trails and repave nearly eight miles of the highway from east of Rhododendron to OR 35.

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