CASCADE LOCKS, Ore. - Eastbound Interstate 84 between Hood River and Troutdale reopened at 1 p.m. Saturday, nearly three weeks after the highway was closed by the Eagle Creek Fire burning in the Columbia River Gorge, ODOT officials said.
The road was closed in both directions on Sept. 4 under increasing threat from the fire. The westbound lanes re-opened Sept. 14. All traffic, eastbound and westbound, is now open.
Because of continuing fire activity at Shellrock Mountain, ODOT has diverted eastbound traffic onto the westbound highway alignment by milepost 52. For a 1.2-mile stretch of road, eastbound and westbound traffic will each travel on one 18-foot wide lane in each direction.
This new configuration will be in place for the foreseeable future. No bicycle traffic will be allowed on this section of the road.
The speed limit on that section has been reduced to 50 mph. Speed radar signs have been set up to remind motorists of their speed.
The configuration change is necessary to move eastbound traffic farther from fire and treefall concerns along this section of Shellrock Mountain.
To further protect the highway, two dozen Conex containers, steel-reinforced boxes commonly used for shipping cargo, have been aligned on the south side of the eastbound lanes. The containers are being used as a barrier against falling material.
The interstate is open but not all ramps are open. Here is a list of exits and parks that are open and closed.
- Historic Columbia River Highway, MP 8.7 at Larch Mountain Road: closed, resident access only.
- I-84 Exit 28, Bridal Veil: closed, resident access only.
- I-84 Exit 31, Multnomah Falls: closed.
- I-84 Exit 35, Historic Columbia River Highway, Ainsworth interchange open but access to U.S. 30 closed
- Frontage Road--Dodson Road east from Warrendale interchange to John B Yeon State Park: closed, resident access only
- I-84 Exit 40, Bonneville south of interchange: closed
- I-84 Exit 41, Eagle Creek: closed
- State Parks Trail at Cascade Locks to Eagle Creek: closed
- I-84 Exit 56, Viento interchange: pen; north and south access closed
State Parks Open:
- Rooster Rock
- Starvation Creek (No access to Trails)
- Women’s Forum.
State Parks Closed:
- John B. Yeon
- HCRH Trail
- Angel’s Rest
- Sheppard’s Dell
- Bridal Veil
- Latourell Falls
- Guy Talbot
- Crown Point and Vista House: closed for season.
All ramps to and from Cascade Locks are open.
Travelers may not stop anywhere along the freeway, officials said, as it remains an active fire zone. Travelers should not stop to take pictures as the shoulder is for emergency stopping only. Cars parked on the shoulder will be towed.
The interstate could close again if fire conditions change, if the weather changes or if there are slides. The underbrush burned away by the fire has increased the threat of slides, particularly in the Gorge drainage areas, such as Herman Creek, Oneonta Creek and Eagle Creek.
Travelers should be aware of this possibility and check road conditions at www.TripCheck.com.