PORTLAND, Ore. -

Construction will delay travelers over Mt. Hood on U.S. Highway 26 with congestion, one hour road closures, 20-minute traffic stops and increased truck traffic west of Government Camp. This project will take place April through October in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

The second week of July kicks off work on a multi-year project to improve safety by reducing severe injury and fatal crossover crashes and rocks that are falling from the over 100-foot cliffs into U.S. 26.

Starting the week of July 7, K&E Excavating will reduce U.S. 26 to one-lane in each direction on 2.5-mile section from east of Kiwanis Camp Road to east of Mirror Lake. This will allow the contractor to work behind a barrier on the cliffs that are now too close to the road and drop rocks into the roadway. This lane configuration will remain in place until Oct. 31.

As the contractor stripes the road, travelers will encounter traffic stops of up to 20 minutes.

Blasting the rock slopes will require closures of up to one hour three evenings a week, Monday-Thursday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. During the blasting closures, flaggers will stop travelers at Kiwanis Camp Road and at the west end of Government Camp to prevent traffic from stopping on the steep slopes of U.S. 26. The blasting closures will be posted on www.TripCheck.com  in advance and we ask travelers to plan around these closures. At this time, dates for blasting have not been scheduled.

You will still be able to get to where you are going during construction however delays are expected. Here is how construction will affect travel:

  • Only one lane will be open in each direction around-the-clock from July through October 31.

  • Closures of up to hour on U.S. 26 for blasting the rock slopes on U.S. 26, three days a week, Monday through Thursday between 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

  • Intermittent traffic stops lasting 20-minutes anytime the contractor is actively working.

  • Increased truck traffic on U.S. 26.

  • Intermittent single lane closures and flagging for other work instead of full highway closures.

  • Construction work will not occur on holidays or Sundays.

  • No construction work will occur from November to March of each year. During this time all lanes will be open.

You can learn more about how construction will affect you by visiting an online open house at www.US26MtHoodSafetyOpenHouse.org

Project Elements:

ODOT will construct a project along a nearly eight mile stretch of U.S. 26 between Kiwanis Camp Road and OR 35 to improve safety by reducing severe crossover crashes and rockfall.

  • Paving an eight mile section of U.S. 26 between Silent Rock and OR 35

  • Highway widening to install a median barrier·Placing a concrete barrier along a 1.6 mile section between the east and westbound lanes of U.S. 26 from just east of the runaway truck ramp and east of the Mirror Lake curves.

  • Cutting back the slope along a 600-foot section at Map Curve to provide a 27 foot wide ditch for rocks to land away from the road·

  • Cutting back the rock slope east of the runaway truck ramp to east of the Mirror Lake trailhead· Highway widening to install a median barrier·

  • Construction of a retaining wall to reduce impacts to existing trails from highway widening work·

  • Extending the westbound passing lanes for a total of about 1,400 feet·

Project Schedule: Work is expected to take place in 2014, 2015 and 2016 in the months of April-October each year in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

For more information visit: www.US26MtHoodSafety.org