Landslides continue to create road hazards

Heavy rains saturated the area in recent days, causing landslides

vWest Burnside will be closed through at least Tuesday, March 21 due to a serious landslide. (KOIN)
West Burnside will be closed through at least Tuesday, March 21 due to a serious landslide. (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Roads across Oregon are being impacted by landslides and flooding, including several hazardous areas that will be closed throughout the night.

Historic Columbia River Highway is closed due to recurring landslides, the Oregon Department of Transportation said. The highway was still closed between Multnomah Falls and Angel’s Rest on Saturday.

A crew was called out Wednesday to access the slide and clear debris near the Benson State Recreation area.

Further east, a rockfall has all lanes of Highway 100 closed Thursday night between Bridal Veil and Multnomah Falls.

Roads in the Portland metro area are impacted by landslides as well, including West Burnside, where a 150 by 75 foot landslide opened up Wednesday morning.

The Portland Bureau of Transportation said West Burnside will remain closed at least through Tuesday, March 21. Officials are asking people to stay away from the area because it continues to be hazardous.

PBOT had to rent a special excavator with an extra long arm to reach some of the debris they needed to remove from the hillside.

“We’re trying to pull the material down carefully and slowly,” said Suzanne Kahn, maintenance operations group manager. “Hopefully it doesn’t decide to come down on it’s own, like it did Wednesday morning. We don’t want to take any more of the hillside down than needs to come down.”

Crews expect to remove more than 1,000 cubic yards of debris by the end of the week, making this the largest of the 42 landslides they have handled this season.

A crack above West Burnside has crews from the Portland Bureau of Transportation at the scene “making it safe.”

PBOT tweeted the crack is 45 feet above and 50 feet from West Burnside and about 120 feet long.

It’s not clear at this point if it is related to the landslide that closed that section of road on Wednesday.