Be ready, drivers. If you’re headed to the west side of the Oregon Cascades, one popular route will be closed for two weeks in September.
U.S. Highway 20 will be fully closed for a 3-mile stretch from Sept. 9-22. The Oregon Department of Transportation says it’s to build a retaining wall, repairing damage from landslides and moving and rebuilding 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.”
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 Sept. 23 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.