Closure of Highway 20 near Santiam Junction delayed until Sunday


The start of a planned two-week closure of U.S. Highway 20 west of Santiam Junction is being delayed until Sunday due to safety concerns.

U.S. Highway 20 will be fully closed for a 3-mile stretch. That closure was set to start Friday and last until Sept. 22. But the Oregon Department of Transportation said that’s being pushed back to Sunday for traveler safety.

“Drive carefully and be prepared if you travel this weekend. Hot, dry winds may prompt power line shutoffs to prevent fires. Treat traffic signals without power like a four-way stop. Trees and vegetation may be on the road. In dry conditions, be careful parking to prevent vehicle-sparked fires,” ODOT said.

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The closure is to build a retaining wall, repair damage from landslides and to move and rebuild a section of the road.

The project area is between mileposts 54 and 57. That’s 19 miles west of Santiam Junction. The closure will be between mileposts 55 and 56.

According to ODOT, “During the road closure all campgrounds within 27 miles east of Sweet Home along U.S. 20, including House Rock Campground, will only be accessible from the west side. Seven Mile Horse Camp, Lost Prairie Campground and Iron Mountain trail will only be accessible from the east side.”

Highway 20 closure detour map

Until the full closure, there will be single-lane closures with a pilot car weekdays from 6 a.m. – 6 p.m.  That will resume from the end of the two-week closure through the end of October.

The $4.96 million project is expected to finished by the end of October. 

Here is more from ODOT: 

The recommended repairs for the Double Gate and Upper Sunken Grade slide areas is to regrade and/or realign the road and build a retaining wall. We are ​also conducting further tests at milepost 53.7, but we have no construction planned at this time due to lack of funding.

Road Realignment and Retaining Wall Construction (milepost 56 – 56.2):

We’ll install a retaining wall on U.S. 20 to slow the movement of the landslide. The wall will be located along the inside of the horizontal curve in the roadway and will need a minor roadway realignment slightly toward the uphill side. The wall will isolate the roadway from the landslide mass to prevent further movement of the roadway. As part of the work we will reconstruct 1,000 feet of roadway to establish the new alignment and grade. 

Road Reconstruction (milepost 55.4 – 55.6):

Many horizontal drains were installed in 2019 to help water flow through the area. The current project will regrade and reconstruct the roadway at this site which has seen significant settlement.​

Santiam Pass Highway 20 road work
Work on Highway 20 west of Santiam Junction, August 2022. (Credit: Oregon Department of Transportation)

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