Newsletter Headin
 December 2013
In This Issue
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. 
The Falls Villa at Latourell Falls
Historic Highway Advisory Committee
To Meet in Cascade Locks


The Historic Columbia River Highway Advisory Committee will meet on Tuesday, Dec. 10 from 10 am-3 pm in Cascade Locks Marine Park.  The meeting highlights include:

  • A detailed walkthrough of the next phase engineering work for the Historic Highway State Trail between Wyeth and Starvation Creek.  
  • Discussion of the committee's strategic plan for 2014.

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

For  more information  on the Advisory Committee, contact Kristen Stallman.
Come to the meeting to hear what the committee is working on in 2104.

 Newest State Trail Section Open!


The Oregon Department of Transportation and Oregon Parks and Recreation Department have officially opened the newest segment of the Historic Highway State Trail. This 1.6 mile trail connection allows cyclists to ride from Troutdale to Cascade Locks without having to use the shoulder of Interstate 84.


Elected officials and policy makers joined together celebrating the dedication on Sept. 14, 2013.
Thanks to Kevin Price of State Parks, the fantastic emcee.  


Check out our Newest Videohcrhvideo


Thanks to Travel Oregon and the Path Less Pedaled Films folks for producing this awesome new video that highlights the benefits the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail will have on our local communities in the Gorge. This video features the mayors from Troutdale, Cascade Locks, Hood River and The Dalles. Check out the video.

Tale of Two Bridges twobridges


In 1915, gala celebrations heralded the grand opening of the Columbia River Highway, on the Oregon side of the Columbia River Gorge. The aesthetically beautiful road was an engineering wonder of its time, and Moffett Creek Bridge was hailed as the longest flat arch bridge in the country. But the popularity of motor transportation exploded, and just a few decades later, the new Interstate 84 opened to carry the traffic. During construction of I-84, sections of the Historic Highway were demolished.


This November, nearly 100 years after the grand opening, we have new reasons to celebrate the Historic Columbia River Highway. Restoration of the thirty-mile stretch of highway between Troutdale and Cascade Locks has been completed, opening the old road to the public as a bicycle and pedestrian trail.


The recent 1.6-mile restoration of the Historic Highway near the John B. Yeon Trailhead crosses two bridges. A new bridge over McCord Creek incorporates art deco features reminiscent of the 1930s and the original 1915 Moffett Creek Bridge still stands. After sitting abandoned for decades, the beauty of this old bridge, in tandem with the new Moffett Creek Bridge, will welcome travelers in the Columbia Gorge.

Historic Moffeet Creek Bridge
New Moffett Creek Bridge Photo: Gary Weber, ODOT


This article originally appeared in the Friends of the Gorge Winter 2013 newsletter.


Gorge Bike Maps Availablebikemaps


The trail is now officially open and since it is paved you can even explore it in the rain. The best place to access the trail is from either the Bridge of the Gods Trailhead in Cascade Locks or from the Toothrock Trailhead (I-84, Exit 40). Parking is available.


From Cascade Locks to the end of the trail at J. B. Yeon State Park is 6.5 miles. If you are up for a longer ride, consider riding the drivable sections of the Historic Highway to Multnomah Falls and back (11 miles from Cascade Locks). From the Toothrock Trailhead you are a bit closer to the new trail connection. There is a 4.5 mile ride to the J.B Yeon Trailhead.


Check out the new and improved bike maps available here.

Shellrock Crossing Makes ODOT's Short Listshellrock


"Extremely terrifying and probably the scariest thing I ever done on a bike" was Jessica Horning's reaction after riding her bike from Portland to a wedding in Hood River last summer. Jessica is ODOT's Transit & Active Transportation Liaison and like many others she is excited about plans to build the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail around Shellrock Mountain. Though not official yet, Historic Highway trail supporters like Jessica may have good reason to celebrate if the Oregon Transportation Commission approves the recommended 100% State Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP) Project List this December.


On the recommended list of projects is a project to construct the Historic Highway State Trail around Shellrock Mountain. The current shoulder width on I-84 where the freeway traverses around Shellrock Mountain and Lindsey Creek State Park is less than four feet wide. With motorist traveing at 65 miles per hour, accessing the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area by bicycle on I-84 is daunting to the average rider. If funded, construction would begin in 2016.


In 2015, construction will start on the Starvation Creek to Lindsey Creek Section leaving just a 1-mile gap between the two projects.


The Statewide Transportation Improvement Program, (STIP), is Oregon's four-year transportation capital improvement program. It identifies the funding and scheduling of all types of transportation projects.  

View of Shellrock Mt. from I-84. Trucks travel close to the shoulder in this area and pose concerns to cyclists.  Photo: Gary Weber, ODOT.


Rehabilitation Work on the Crown Point Viaduct is Now Completecrownpoint


We are happy to announce that work on Crown Point Viaduct is complete. The Crown Point Viaduct, an approximately 600-foot-long concrete bridge located on the Historic Columbia River Highway adjacent to Vista House, was nearly 100 years old and it concrete columns were showing their age. If left unrepaired, the structure and walls could have failed and had significant safety impacts, as well as, large vehicles having no access to this iconic, historic structure.


The purpose of this viaduct is to carry the highway around the rock formation at Crown Point which was a serious obstacle to its construction in 1914. It includes a seven-foot wide sidewalk, a foundation wall along the inside of the viaduct and 29 support columns.


The viaduct restoration was designed to maintain the original appearance as much as practical. The rehabilitated structure and retaining walls have a color and texture similar to the weathered original existing structure to the extent practical.


The project area also included restoration of portions of Historic Columbia River Highway between Larch Mountain Road and Crown Point and between Crown Point and Latourell Falls. The project was managed by the Western Federal Lands Highway Division of the Federal Highway Administration.


For more information about the project please visit:
click here.

Photo:  Gary Weber, ODOT

Bridge of the Gods Repairs Underway

Bridge Closed at NightBOG

The Bridge of Gods is being repaired and strengthened to lift the weight restrictions currently in place. The Port of Cascade Locks is the owner of the Bridge of the Gods.


During December and January the bridge will be closed to traffic 7 nights a week for nighttime repairs. During the daytime, there will be single lane closures with one-way traffic directed by flaggers.  Traffic impacts are subject to change. Check the Port of Cascade Locks website for specific closure information.  

Viewshed Management Project Wins Awardaward


Congratulations are in order for the Historic Columbia River Highway Advisory Committee.  Their work on the Historic Highway Viewshed Management Project received a Merit Award at this year's Oregon Association of Landscape Architects Professional Awards.  ODOT's Sandra Koike, OPRD's Mark Davison, Park Manager Mark Stevenson and his amazing crew did amazing job restoring the lost views by selectively removing and trimming vegetationn. Check out the poster that will travel the state highlighting this exciting project. 


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