Project map2020 to bring construction and traffic on Hwy. 26 posted on 11/01/2019
Mount Hood area residents and visitors can expect traffic
congestion and delays on Hwy. 26 during the late spring and summer of 2020 as a
result of Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) construction projects.
“(The planned projects) are for safety and maintenance. We
want to assure no further deterioration of the roadways,” said April
DeLeon-Galloway, ODOT community affairs coordinator.
ODOT warned that travelers will encounter temporary lane
closures along two stretches of the highway, with traffic controlled by
flaggers and a pilot car during the construction, and began a public awareness
campaign for three projects slated for the Mount Hood area next year at the
Sept. 21 Rhododendron Community Planning Organization meeting.
The construction involves paving east of Sandy from Weber
Road to East Cherryville Drive (mile post 30.4 –32.5) and between Zigzag and
Rhododendron from East Lolo Pass Road to East Arlie Mitchell Road (mile post
41.6 - 44.1). ODOT also plans to upgrade signs from Timberline Highway on Hwy.
26 to Sherwood Campground on Route 35 (mile post 54.2-70.2.)
DeLeon-Galloway stated that design for the projects is
underway. She added that there is no construction schedule at this time. Work
is expected to begin in late spring or early summer 2020 and conclude in early
“the most complex” of the three projects will involve repaving both directions
of the 2.1-mile section of Hwy. 26 east of Sandy beginning at Weber Road.
“If you drive this
section you see a good deal of repairs,” DeLeon-Galloway said. “It’s definitely
time to get this one fixed before it deteriorates further and requires full
The construction will remove and replace two to four inches
of asphalt in the area, replace 10,000 feet of guardrail, upgrade 8,000 feet of
median cable barrier and replace signs, striping and rumble strips.
ODOT noted that drivers can expect daytime work on the
project with potential lane closures reducing Hwy. 26 to one lane. A pilot car
will be used to guide traffic through the construction zone. The work may also
be scheduled for nighttime if needed.
The ODOT website lists the total project cost for this
section of repairs as $4,336,912.
Construction will occur concurrently on a 2.5-mile stretch
of Hwy. 26 between Zigzag and Rhododendron. Both directions of the highway will
be repaved, and rumble strips will be replaced.
Daytime work, lane closures and flaggers are expected for
this portion of repairs. Work crews will construct temporary pedestrian access
routes during the repaving work.
The cost of this project is listed at $2.8 million dollars.
“The largest, but simplest project will be upgrading 26
existing signs along Hwy. 26 and Oregon Route 35,” DeLeon-Galloway said.
The guidance and warning signs will be replaced with more
durable materials and steel supports.
“The signs will be taller and more durable,” ODOT spokesman
Don Hamilton said.
This upgrade will prevent the possibility of the signs being
covered by snow or damaged by plowing during the winter.
Minimal delays are expected during the project. The cost for
the sign replacement is listed as $500,000.
ODOT is currently seeking to address community concerns
regarding traffic enforcement during the construction.
“We’ll do our best to coordinate with local law enforcement,”
The construction schedules will be updated regularly on the
ODOT project website.
“The public can sign up for alerts,” Hamilton added about
efforts to keep the community informed of scheduling and delays related to the
For more information visit the ODOT project page at
www.oregon.gov. April DeLeon-Galloway, OOOT community affairs coordinator, can
be contacted by email at ApriI.M.Oeleon@odot.state.or.us or phone at
Community members are invited to sign up for a newsletter to
get updates for ODOT Mount Hood projects at https:lltinyurl.com/MtHoodProjects.
By Ben Simpson/MT