Officials are stepping up efforts to stop illegal trips alongside roads adjacent to the Cornelius Pass Improvement Project.

Illegal trips by large trucks using side roads in the West Hills has been a problem since Cornelius Pass Road closed for repairs on July 22, according to Multnomah County Communications Officer Mike Pulllen.

“Oversize trucks on the narrow steep side roads create safety problems for road users, delay traffic, and damage the roads,” Pullen writes in his weekly Cornelius Pass Improvement Update. “We appreciate the efforts of the Multnomah and Washington counties Sheriffs’ staff in citing offenders, and reports from community members who have documented illegal truck trips.”

Pullen said that starting Monday, Sept. 16. flaggers will be positioned at the intersections of NW Old Cornelius Pass Road and NW Phillips Road, and at NW Phillips Road and NW Helvetia Road on work days.

The flaggers will be instructed to stop illegal trucks and direct them back to the truck detour on Highway 26.

“This is a significant investment to deal with the problem of illegal trucks,” Pullen said. “ We appreciate the support from Washington County for supporting the placement of these flaggers.”

Pullen also said officials recognize that the closure of NW Cornelius Pass Road is a major inconvenience for the public and everyone is looking forward to using the newly improved road.

“The project does not yet have a confirmed date for reopening the road, but a reopening in October is expected,” he said. “We are working with the contractor to expedite the remaining work items as quickly as possible”

Pullen said updates on the pass improvement work schedule will be issued in the coming weeks

Recent Construction

NW 8th Ave.

Removal of the old culvert under NW Cornelius Pass Road was rescheduled for next week. The contractor will install sections of the new culvert starting next week. Paving the realigned road will occur after the culvert is replaced.

S Curves

Electrical conduit for the new flashing beacons that will alert drivers before entering the S curves has been installed. Removal of the rock slope should continue next week.


Installation of permanent safety signs is now scheduled to begin next week.


The contractor is coordinating with a utility company for guardrail installation, where underground utility lines are present.

Skyline Elementary School

Law enforcement staff report that speeding has been a problem near Skyline Elementary School on NW Skyline Blvd. The school is on the project’s main detour route. Officials are urging drivers to observe the school speed zone limit to ensure the safety of students, school staff and visitors.

The school is busier than usual, since it is serving as a bus stop for middle and high school students during the road closure.

During the improvement project, the pass is closed to through traffic between Highway 30 and Germantown Road in Washington County. This will detour about 13,000 vehicle trips each weekday onto other roads.

The closure will allow contractor Wildish Standard Paving to construct safety improvements on Multnomah County’s five-mile section of the road.

This steep, winding and narrow section of NW Cornelius Pass Road has a long history of crashes. The project will reduce some of the rural road’s sharp curves, increase sight distance for drivers, improve road shoulders, and install caution signs, guardrails and barriers.

Read a special series of special reports about the Cornelius Pass Improvement Project and its impact in Columbia County and the region online at the and in the Wednesday print editions of The Chronicle. For more details from Pullen, visit


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