ODOT update: I-84, Columbia River Highway remain closed

The minimum time until reopening is at least a week for I-84

Smoke from the Eagle Creek Fire seen near Cascade Locks on September 8, 2017. (KOIN)
Smoke from the Eagle Creek Fire seen near Cascade Locks on September 8, 2017. (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore.(KOIN) — The Oregon Department of Transportation announced Sunday I-84 remains closed while the Eagle Creek Fire remains burning.

ODOT said the highway will remain closed for at least a week, which they estimate is the minimum time required to remove the trees and rockfall in the area. When the inetrstate does open up, ODOT said the westbound lanes will open first.

ODOT said the Columbia River Highway is also closed with no scheduled time for reopening.

Here’s the rest of the update on the closed highways from ODOT.

Danger trees. ODOT has removed about 2,000 trees that were in danger of falling onto I-84 with about 1,500 remaining to be removed. Tree removal efforts should be finished by early in the coming week.

Rockfall. The biggest impediment to re-opening the highway is the threat of falling rocks, most of them around the Toothrock Tunnel. The work is slow in steep, difficult terrain extending high up onto the hillside.

Bridges. ODOT inspected 70 bridges and culverts along I-84 and found minimal damage.

Tunnels. An inspection of the 1936 Toothrock Tunnel on I-84 showed minimal rock damage to portals. The liner inside the Oneonta Tunnel on the HCRH completely burned and engineers found unstable rock slopes at each end.

Slide threat. In the weeks ahead, ODOT will be assessing the danger of winter slides in areas where the underbrush has burned away.