Historic Highway sceneJ
Sept. 2010 
In This Issue:

--$3.4 Million Received for Trail Segment  

 --Get Involved in the Preservation of the Historic Columbia River Highway
--Attend an intriguing lecture:
The Columbia River Gorge: Portland's Playground  
 --State Trail Plan Nears Completion
--Meet A State Trail Park Ranger



 The Historic Columbia River Highway Newsletter is your source for updates and information regarding efforts to remember, restore and reconnect the Historic Columbia River Highway and State Trail, a world class adventure from Portland to The Dalles.  
The Historic Columbia River Highway is "The King of Roads"--a road through the spectacular Columbia River Gorge.  Whether you are seeing it for the first time or you know every inch of it by heart, each time you experience the Historic Highway you begin the journey anew.
Constructing the Bridge at Multnomah Creek
"The beauties of the Gorge of the Columbia can never be foregotten by any visitor."
 Samuel C. Lancaster
Get Involved in the Preservation of the Historic Columbia River Highway  
Join us at the next quarterly Historic Columbia River Highway Advisory Committee meeting on September 23, 2010 from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM at the Bonneville Dam Auditorium.  For the full meeting agenda click here.  
The public is encouraged to attend. 
Highlights of the meeting will include:
  • Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail Plan
  • Trail Design Guidelines Presentation
  • Historic Two-Rail White Guardrail Discussion  
  • Project Updates 

The minutes from the June 24, 2010 meeting are available online
For more information on the Advisory Committee, click here 
To learn more, check out a nine-minute video to learn more about the Milepost 2016 Reconnection Strategy. Click here for video
$3.4 Million Received to Construct the 'Missing Link'! 
Exciting news! The 'missing link' of the Historic Highway State Trail between Warrendale to Moffett Creek is one step closer to being connected! Recently, the Western Federal Lands Highway Division of the Federal Highway Administration allocated $3.4 million to the construction of the Reconnection Strategy's number one priority project.
This 1.6 mile trail segment provides the missing link between Troutdale and Cascade Locks. Design work for the HCRH State Trail segment between John B. Yeon State Park to Moffett Creek is currently underway and construction will begin next summer.   
Open House for Warrendale to Moffett Creek Trail  
You are invited to an open house where ODOT will share details on the latest trail segment to receive funding.  View the plans and comment on the proposed trail. 
Date:  Thursday, September 23
Location:  Cascade Locks Community Center at the Marine Park
Time:  4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
For more information contact Kristen Stallman at kristen.stallman@odot.state.or.us
 Historic Columbia River Highway  State Trail Plan
 Nears Completion
The plan to lay out the last 11 miles of trail for the proposed alignment of the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail between Wyeth and Hood River is nearly complete. This summer, the consultant team led by Brian Bainnson of Quatrefoil, held two open houses. 
State Trail Open House in Hood River
Twenty people attended the first open house in Hood River and over 60 people participated in the Portland Open House!  Make sure to look for the final plan to reconnect the Historic Columbia River Highway as a World Class Adventure - the "King of Trails" on the ODOT HCRH website this fall! 
Mayors Tour the Highway

On July 20, the mayors from Troutdale, Cascade Locks, Hood River and Mosier met with staff from the offices of Senator Wyden, Senator Merkley and Congressman Blumenauer to tour the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail.  Also participating in the tour were representatives from the Historic Highway Advisory Committee, Friends of the Historic Highway, Travel Oregon, OPRD, ODOT and local community partners.   In a letter to the Oregon Transportation Commission following the tour the mayors renewed their support for the Historic Highway stating, "Let us all continue to focus with dedication; with vision and sacrifice on bringing together the remaining connections of the Historic Columbia River Highway". 
In the News
On Monday August 23, an editorial in the Oregonian featured the Historic Highway. The article highlighted the Milepost 2016 Reconnection Strategy and current restoration and reconnection efforts.
Read the full write up 
Oregon Encyclopedia Project Presents: "The Columbia River Gorge:  Portland's Playground?
Gorge lovers and Historic Highway supporters will not want to miss this exciting evening fusing history and visions for new recreational opportunities in the Gorge.  McMenamin's Edgefield and the Oregon Encyclopedia Project will be hosting a lecture highlighting the Gorge and Historic Columbia River Highway.  
In 1986, Congress established the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. Hotly debated at the time, the regulations set by the designation have become part of how Oregonians think about the Gorge and its significance to the state's tourism industry and land-use planning efforts.
Dr. Carl Abbott of Portland State University looks at recreation in the Gorge, tourism before the building of the Columbia River Highway and how the Scenic Area legislation changed how we look at one of Oregon's most remarkable landscapes. Kristen Stallman from the Oregon Department of Transportation will present on the agency's efforts to reconnect the abandoned sections of the Historic Columbia River Highway as a Trail by 2016.
RockwallLocation: McMenamin's Edgefield     
               2126 Southwest Halsey Street, Troutdale
Date:      Tuesday, September 28 at 6:30 p.m.
For more information:

 A Busy Summer for the Friends  
The fourth annual Gorge Ride drew 425 participants while netting $10,000 for the Friends of the Historic Highway. Check out the video montage of the successful ride on the Friends website Friends web site

July 10 was the first annual Antique Car Tour from the Western Antique Aeroplane and Automobile Museum through the Mosier Twin Tunnels. The car owners carried passengers from the Rock Cove Assisted Living Center.
 Meet A Historic Highway State Trail Park Ranger
Perhaps you've seen him on the Mosier Twin Tunnels State Trail, giving a talk at the Memaloose Campground or providing information at the west Mark O. Hatfield visitors' center but one thing is certain, once you've met Park Ranger Matt Davey you are likely to never forget his enthusiasm. An aspiring firefighter and EMT Matt spent time in the Rocky Mountains and enjoyed his time in the wilderness so much he decided to work as a seasonal ranger at Ainsworth State Park. He had such a great experience that he decided to become a park ranger full time and was soon on his way to Warrenton Oregon to work at Fort Stevens State Park. However, in 2007, after two years Oregon's largest campground, Matt felt it was time to move from 'the city' and head back to the Gorge. Matt's favorite part of the job is the variety of tasks that his position entails and the positive attitudes of the visitors and trail users. Thank you Matt for all of your work on the Historic Highway! 

Construction on Interstate 84 and Washington SR 14

This fall there will be several construction projects happening on Interstate 84 and SR 14 in Washington.  For the latest information, check out www.odotgorgeprojects.org for Oregon and  WSDOT Construction.  Know before you go! 
The Historic Columbia River Highway (HCRH) was the country's first scenic highway, constructed between 1913 and 1922.  It served millions of travelers and took advantage of the Columbia River Gorge's natural beauty, to become one of our nation's grandest roads.  Less than 31 years later, construction of a water level route, now known as Interstate 84, obliterated many sections of the Historic Highway, leaving it disconnected and abandoned. 
Today the remaining segments of the HCRH and State Trail receive over 2 million visitors per year.  Its attractions are Pacific Northwest icons.  The Historic Highway and State Trail is our portal to recreational opportunities connecting us with historic communities and sites in the Gorge.  The restored, drivable portions maintain their 1920s character and appearance.
Historic Moffett Creek Bridge
Eleven miles of State Trail have been constructed during the past 18 years.  However, the old highway remains disconnected.
It took Samuel Hill and Samuel Lancaster only nine years to build 73 miles of highway between Portland and The Dalles.  Twelve challenging miles of new trail await reconnection in time for the highway's centennial in 2016.  This undertaking will require the support of local communities and trail advocates throughout Oregon. 
ODOT is seeking an earmark for $23 million through the surface transportation authorizing legislation to construct the Reconnection Strategy's top three priority projects including: the John Yeon State Park to Moffett Creek Trail Connection, a new tunnel at Mitchell Point and a trail connection between Lindsey Creek State Park and the Starvation Creek State Trailhead.   
Your Thoughts 
Tell us what you think of this update.  What would you like to see in future issues? 
Email Kristen
Share this newsletter with your friends and colleagues by clicking on the Forward email link below. 
Contact Info
Kristen Stallman, Historic Columbia River Highway Coordinator
ODOT Region 1