04/07/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 04/07/2020 16:22
April 7, 2020
CORBETT -- An additional seven miles of the Historic Columbia River Highway will close during the day starting at 8 a.m. Wednesday to ensure the health and safety of State Parks staff and the general public.
Last week, ODOT closed the Historic Highway from Angel's Rest to Ainsworth, a seven mile section of road, around the clock. All of the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail has been closed since last month.
On Wednesday, the road will close every day from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. from Larch Mountain Road to Angel's Rest, an additional seven miles.
ODOT made the decision in consultation with the U.S. Forest Service and Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, who want to remind everyone that Vista House, Multnomah, Horsetail, Shepperd's Dell, Wahkeena and Latourell falls and other recreation destinations in these corridors remain closed twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
'Given what's been happening in this corridor despite the Governor's Executive Order, this day-time closure has become necessary to protect Forest Service, Sheriff's office and State Parks staffs and for protecting the public,' said Rian Windsheimer, ODOT's regional manager for the Portland area. 'Please follow the Governor's guidance and stay home, save lives.'
Crews along the road see more than 200 vehicles an hour with many visitors violating barricades, some throwing closure signs off the road and many trespassing into closed parks and trails. In addition, official crews in the area - including the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office, ODOT the Forest Service and State Parks - report contacting visitors about once every four minutes while trying to maintain the closure of recreational facilities.
The new closure points will be staffed by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. Access for local residents and emergency services will be maintained.