NEW DETAILS: Watch for delays along Cornelius Pass Road from 9 a.m to 3 p.m on Wednesday, May 29, for utility work.
Previous Chronicle coverage posted May 21
Multnomah County is encouraging travelers who use Cornelius Pass Road to attend public meetings to learn the latest details of the pending improvement project, which will close the busy roadway in July for several months.
The county has set a series of public informational meetings to be held in June with the first running from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 5, at Skyline Elementary School Gym, 11536 NW Skyline Blvd., in Portland. Other meetings are set for Tuesday, June 11, from 6 - 7:30 p.m. at Scappoose High School Auditorium, 33700 SE High School Way, Scappoose and from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Monday, June 17, at Westview High School Cafeteria, 4200 NW 185th Ave., in Portland.
Despite its challenging geography, NW Cornelius Pass Road has become a busy regional route for commuters and freight trucks in three counties. The road will need to be closed to through traffic between Highway 30 and Germantown Road in Washington County for 11 weeks during construction. This will detour about 13,000 vehicle trips each weekday onto other roads.
Two Hard Core Closures
There will be hard closures at two locations on NW Cornelius Pass Road that no traffic will be able to cross for several months. Neighbors will be able to access their homes, but will not be able to cross the hard road closures:
- Near NW 8th Ave. where a culvert will be replaced that carries a creek under NW Cornelius Pass Rd. Residents who live north of NW 8th Ave. will have access from Highway 30. Residents south of NW 8th Ave. will have access from Skyline Blvd. or NW Old Cornelius Pass Rd.
- Near NW Germantown Rd. where a closure is needed during construction of improvements at NW Cornelius Pass Rd. and NW Kaiser Rd. Residents will use NW Old Cornelius Pass Rd. or NW Germantown Rd. as a detour.
Steep hills near Cornelius Pass Rd. will create challenges for all road users during this summer’s construction. Most commuters will use steep side roads over the hills. Drivers of large trucks will be detoured to highways. The detour routes are:
For cars and pick-up trucks:
- NW Newberry Rd. east from Highway 30 to NW Skyline Blvd.
- NW Skyline Blvd. north to NW Old Cornelius Pass Rd.
- NW Old Cornelius Pass Rd. south to NW Cornelius Pass Rd. in Washington County
- A temporary traffic c signal will be installed at Hwy 30 and Newberry Rd. so traffic can turn left onto Hwy 30.
- A stop sign will be relocated so that traffic can turn from Newberry onto Skyline westbound without stopping.
- Stop signs will be relocated to allow detour traffic on Skyline Blvd. to cross Cornelius Pass Rd. without stopping.
For large trucks:
- Highway 30 south to Interstate 405 south to Highway 26 west
- Highway 26 west to NW Cornelius Pass Rd.
For trucks carrying hazardous loads (such as gasoline tankers):
- Highway 30 south to Interstate 405 south to Interstate 5 south
- Interstate 5 south to Highway 217
- Highway 217 north to Highway 26 west to NW Cornelius Pass Rd.
- Trucks carrying hazardous loads are not permitted in the Vista Ridge tunnel on Highway 26.
This summer’s road closure will impact everyone that uses Cornelius Pass Rd., as well as nearby side roads and detour routes. Here are some tips for getting around during the closure.
Rural roads in the West Hills are popular with recreational bicyclists. This summer those narrow, steep and winding roads will have a lot more tra c than normal, as commuters nd new routes. Road users should be extra alert for other tra c on West Hills roads this summer, especially bicyclists. Recreational cyclists may prefer to ride in less congested areas further from NW Cornelius Pass Road.
- One Road to Avoid
All roads over the west hills are steep, NW Logie Trail Road is also the narrowest. One steep section is so narrow that two cars cannot pass. We recommend only local residents use it.
During construction, why not share the ride? If everyone carpooled just once a week, the detour route could see 20% less tra c, making the ride smoother for everyone. Find co-workers or neighbors to share the ride through www.drivelessconnect.com, Oregon’s carpool matching website. We want to help you Get There!
- Large Trucks
From July 19-29, an ODOT contractor plans to close the ramp from Highway 30 southbound to I-405 south. On these days, the detour will be extended. Drivers will use the I-405 and I-5 loop to reach Highway 26 and I-5 south. (Website: www.i405ramps.org)
NW Cornelius Pass Road in Multnomah County is a narrow, steep and winding road with a long history of vehicle crashes. The Oregon Legislature provided funding to the County to make safety improvements to the road between Highway 30 and NW Kaiser Road. Multnomah County worked with community members from three counties to select improvements designed to get the most safety bene t from the funds available.
The improvements that will be built in summer 2019 are focused on areas where crashes occur. The repairs include focused construction at four locations (see map) and corridor-wide improvements. The corridor-wide improvements include signage, additional vehicle pullouts, barriers, guardrails and shoulder repairs to reduce pavement drops.
This project will not solve all of the road’s safety issues. Eliminating all the sharp curves would require a much larger investment. However, the improvements are expected to reduce the number and severity of crashes and the traffic delays that follow such crashes.
The Oregon Department of Transportation is scheduled to take jurisdiction of NW Cornelius Pass Road between Highway 30 and Highway 26 after this summer’s project, probably in 2020.
Total Cost: $5.65 million, which includes design, right-of-way acquisition and construction. Funding Sources: The project will be paid for using federal, state and county transportation funds.