Highway 224 reopens following wildfire in 2020 | News Radio 1190 KEX

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OU 224 above Estacada reopened Sunday after crews completed the final cleanup needed to make the road safe after the 2020 Labor Day wildfires.

Also on Sunday, the US Forest Service opened the Hole in the Wall and Moore Creek day boat access sites and the Big Eddy day-use site. All other Forest Service recreation facilities in the Clackamas River corridor will remain closed until at least the end of 2022.

“These communities have experienced real hardship following the massive wildfires of 2020,” said Rian Windsheimer, regional manager for ODOT Portland. “Today, ODOT and our partners are happy to celebrate the reopening of this road, but there is still a lot of forest recovery work ahead of us.”

Salvage work in the corridor will continue after the road opens. This summer, visitors will face road closures of up to 20 minutes at various locations, seven days a week, and see trucks loaded with debris, chipping and asphalt repairs.

The Forest Service, ODOT, Portland General Electric and other partners have been joined by private contractors to prepare the road for reopening. The extent of wildfire damage was staggering, keeping 18 miles of OR 224 closed for 20 months.

The work consisted of:

  • Clearing kilometers of ditches from the debris left by the fire.
  • Repair and replace 11 miles of damaged and destroyed road guardrails at 11 sites.
  • Remove tens of thousands of dangerous dead and dying trees that threatened the road.
  • Replacement of dozens of road signs destroyed by the fire.
  • Installation of a retaining mesh to help contain future rockfall.
  • Climbing to break down loose rocks from steep slopes, work that continues this spring.

Work is underway to reseed with native plants to reduce weeds.

Patching of potholes in OR 224 will continue this spring with paving of damaged sections this summer when the weather warms.

Source: ODOT

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