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Fire Alert

ODOT crews make progress to repair, reopen highways damaged by wildfires

ODOT cleanup Oregon 224 Estacada
ODOT
Cleanup efforts along Oregon Highway 224 near Estacada

SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) – While some sections of Oregon highways hardest hit by recent wildfires have reopened, repairs and damage assessments continue. Drivers should expect delays as work continues and look for alternate routes where possible, ODOT said in an update Wednesday.

Roughly 43 miles of highway remain closed, down from a peak of 244, and roughly 32 miles are open to piloted traffic only.

To date, immediate hazard trees have been removed in 97.5 miles of damaged area – an increase of 2.5 miles since last week. Hazard trees have been removed in five miles of damaged area.

A hazard tree is likely to fall or drop branches on the road. Immediate hazard trees pose the greatest risk of falling.

Crews are also assessing culverts, pavement, slopes, signs and equipment for damage. They’ve completed assessing guardrail and bridges. One bridge along OR 22E was damaged and more than 10 miles of guardrail statewide were damaged.

Here’s what drivers can expect around the state:

  • OR 126E
    • Current status: The road reopened last week, but work is ongoing. Drivers should expect delays of 20 minutes to 2 hours. Check TripCheck for updates.
  • OR 22E
    • Current status: Pilot cars are guiding drivers between Gates and Detroit/Idanha. Residents should expect at least one hour to make a one-way trip. Check TripCheck for the schedule.
  • Residents should expect at least one hour to make a one-way trip. Check TripCheck for the schedule.
  • OR 224
    • Current status: Closed between MP 31 and MP 49.97. Forest Service Road 46 is closed as well. Check TripCheck for updates.
  • OR 138E
    • Current status: Pilot cars are operating between MP 21-29. Daytime flagging is in place from MP 29-43. Expect delays. Check TripCheck for updates.
  • OR 46
    • Current status: Closed MP 16.2-19. Check TripCheck for updates.

A number of other east-west routes are open with no restrictions, including: I-84, U.S. 26, U.S. 20 and OR 58.

You can track our progress online. ODOT’s wildfire resources webpage includes information on closures, repairs and assessments to date, links to photos, videos and more. You can also sign up for news and emergency alerts.

Know before you go

Drivers can expect to see flaggers or pilot cars and should plan for frequent lane closures and limited access. Through traffic should still take alternate routes until local wildfire hazards are resolved.

ODOT may have further work to do to stabilize hillsides or clear debris. Slides and debris flows are a particular concern – especially after rains – in areas where fire has stripped away vegetation, tree roots and underbrush.

Drivers should check TripCheck.com for updates on closures.

For pictures of road damage around the state: https://www.flickr.com/photos/oregondot/albums/72157715891016418

For videos of explaining the recovery challenges faced by ODOT crews:

https://www.youtube.com/user/OregonDOT

Government-politics / News / Oregon-Northwest / Top Stories

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