Newsletter Headin    
The Historic Columbia River Highway News 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. 
OR LEgislators feb 2013
Oregon Legislators traveling to view the experimental road at Maryhill  built by Sam Hill 100 years ago. This trip aided in the planning for the Historic Columbia River Highway
Historic Highway Advisory Committee MeetingGetInvolved


A full agenda is planned the March 19th meeting. The Committee will be discussing efforts to secure a US Postal Stamp commemorating the centennial of the Historic Highway. The new and improved wayfinding plan will be revealed for the Historic Highway State Trail. The committee will be treated to an update on the construction progress for the new trail connection between JB Yeon and Moffett Creek and discuss plans to celebrate the trail opening this September. The committee will explore ways to minimize conflicts between cyclists and autos on the drivable segments of the Highway. They will also review the schedule and tasks for the engineering currently underway for the State Trail segment between Wyeth and Mitchell Point.  


 For more information contact  Kristen Stallman


 To view the meeting agenda and read past meeting minutes please click here

ODOT at 100: The King of Roads Becomes

the King of TrailsODOT100


On Feb. 28, 1913 an act of the Oregon Legislature created the Oregon State Highway Department and the Highway Commission as its governing body. A century later, much has changed-from the agency's name and focus, to the way it does business.

Chanticleer Inn
Drivers enjoy the views from the Chnticleer Inn.  The site became the Portland Women's Forum. 
   Over the course of the next year, this e-newsletter  will feature stories from the history of the agency, with a focus on  how far we've come and share the direction  of the state's transportation future. To read the first installment of the "King of Roads" tales and to see historic photos, click here 
To learn more about the construction of the Historic Highway and its timeline from 1913 to 1922, click here.
Historic Crown Point

 Crown Point Viaduct Project UpdateCrownPoint 

Phase 2 of the Crown Point Viaduct restoration project is underway. Here's the latest information, so you can plan your spring sightseeing trip.
Historic Columbia River Highway traffic delays and road closures to Crown Point from March 1 to May 24, 2013.  

March 1 - April 14, 2013

Larch Mountain Rd. to Latourell Falls

--Open to all vehicles with periodic single lane closures and delays of up to 30 minutes.

      --Vista House open to the public, 10 am to 4 pm daily.


April 15 - May 24, 2013

 Larch Mountain Rd. to Latourell Falls

--Closed to all vehicles (including bicycles and pedestrians).

 --Vista House closed.

May 24, 2013--to Mid June, 2013

Larch Mountain Rd. to Latourell Falls

--Road open beginning Memorial Day Holiday Weekend.
--Occasional single lane closure may occur with traffic delays of up to 30 minutes.
 --Vista House open 10 am to 4 pm daily. 


Detour Map Spring 2013

The two-year construction project to restore the Crown Point Viaduct at Vista House and portions of the Historic Columbia River Highway began in mid-July 2012. It is currently scheduled to be completed by the end of May 2013. The Federal Highway Administration, Western Federal Lands Highway Division, is working with the Oregon Department of Transportation and the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department to minimize travel impacts to Vista House visitors and other users of the Historic Highway.


For more information, go to the project website   

Road Crew Spotlight: Kathy FitzpatrickKathyFitzpatrick


Next time you are in Mosier you are likely to run into Kathy Fitzpatrick. Kathy, a member of the Mosier City Council, works diligently to make Mosier and the Historic Highway better for her neighbors and those visiting this great

One of her most recent visions for Mosier includes the development of the Mosier Hub - a central meeting point for cyclists and visitors to the Mosier area.
Kathy Fitzpatrick in Mosier

Kathy showing off local Mosier cherries

In 2007 Kathy contacted Kristen Stallman (ODOT National Scenic Area
Coordinator) to lament that the Historic Highway interpretive sign that was to be installed on a small fragment of city land did not meet her expectations. The sign, though very informative, was not what Kathy  envisioned for the city owned site. She was expecting a visitor information kiosk that would help inform visitors about the Historic Highway and the City of Mosier. During this conversation the idea for the Mosier Hub was born.  


During the past couple of years, Kathy has been there as ideas were explored, plans drawn up and many grant applications rejected. In 2011, ODOT was finally awarded funding for Phase I of the Mosier Hub through the National Scenic Byway Program. However, Phase I could not begin until the site was deemed "clean" by DEQ. Again, Kathy stepped up and worked with ODOT and DEQ with the help of Business Oregon to get the site cleared for development.


People like Kathy in communities like Mosier help shape the future of not only their towns but how folks from around the world experience Oregon. Thank you Kathy for all that you do!

Plans to Remove the Staircase at Eagle Creek ExploredEagleCreek


If you have ever had to lug a bike loaded with gear up the Eagle Creek Staircase you will appreciate the Friends of The Historic Highway's effort to develop a plan to replace the dreaded staircase with a ramp. The Friends of the Historic Columbia River Highway has assembled a team of professional engineers who are working on a concept plan. The Friends will present their plan at the March Historic Highway Advisory Committee meeting.

Don't miss the Columbia River Gorge Ride this year! GorgeRide

Registration is now open for this year's Gorge Ride online, go to This ride, in its 7th year, is scheduled for June 15, 2013. The 38.5 miles route will be the same spectacular route as previous rides, from the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center to the Senator Mark O. Hatfield West Trailhead and return.
Bicyclist on Rowena Loops
Cyclist at the top of the Rowena Loops
New this year will be a drawing for several prizes. Come ride with the Friends of the Historic Highway and support its reconnection as the "King of Trails". 


If riding isn't your thing, please consider volunteering to help with the ride. Contact for more information.

College Students Learn from the Trail ProjectPSUOSU 


Portland State University and Oregon State University engineering students were treated to a hard hat tour of the J.B. Yeon to Moffett Creek State Trail project in February. One hundred and fifty OSU students walked the trail from beginning to end witnessing the trail construction process. ODOT staff and Advisory Committee Chair, Wayne Stewart, shared with them the challenges of building a trail in the Gorge.  


OSU students
OSU students visit the McCord to Moffett State Trail project

Five PSU engineering students have stepped up to help develop a concept plan for the Summit Creek Viaduct. A viaduct and system of walls is required to help bridge the transition between the grades at Summit Creek up to the moss-covered, original highway pavement in Lindsey Creek State Park Scenic Corridor. This challenging project which will test their knowledge of engineering principals and force them to ponder, "What would Sam Lancaster do in this situation?"


PSU students
 PSU  students  on the new McCord Creek Bridge with ODOT bridge manager Tony Stratis


8th Graders Learn about Bridge Construction


Hood River's Wy'east Middle School 8th graders had the opportunity to become bridge engineers for a day when Brad Dehart and Kristen Stallman stopped by their classroom as part of National Engineering Month.  

Wyeast students
Students work together to engineer and construct bridges


Kristen and Brad provided the students with a pitch about the engineering field and a brief history lesson on the Historic Highway and its iconic concrete bridges. Then the students got to try building their own bridges out of unconventional materials - gum drops and toothpicks. 


Kristen and Brad had a great time and the kids enjoyed the hands on activity, not to mention the candy. Several expressed interest in pursuing engineering in the future.

Get your Cameras - Capture the New Gorge Views!Viewshed


Next time you are in the Gorge it might look a little different. You will be able to see the fabulous views from Portland Women's Forum and Vista House without standing on your tiptoes. The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department has cleared brush and select trees to restore the amazing views along the Historic Highway. This effort has made a huge difference for the visitor experience. Park rangers plan to open more views in the future so make sure you have your camera ready the next time you are on the Historic Highway!



Vista House Before View Management
Try to find Vista House in the "Before" view
Vista House View Management
"After" selective vegetation trimming


A True Friend of the HighwayJernstadt


Senator Ken Jernstedt was the first of the listed "sponsor" senators for Senate Bill 766. This bill stated "that it is the public policy of the State of Oregon to preserve and restore the continuity and historic integrity of the remaining segments of the Historic Columbia River Highway for public use and enjoyment..." In addition, this bill created the Historic Columbia River Highway Advisory Committee. After his service in the Senate, Ken served on the Historic Highway Advisory Committee for four years, providing sage advice. Ken Jernstedt died on February 4, 2013. He was 95 years old.


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Kristen Stallman, Historic Columbia River Highway Coordinator
Oregon Department of Transportation, Region 1