County project will mean more traffic on Newberry, Skyline (again) this summer

County project will mean more traffic on Newberry, Skyline (again) this summer

(Graphic: Multnomah County)

Remember last summer when Multnomah County closed NW Cornelius Pass Road for a major project and the detour sent thousands of drivers onto popular and usually quiet roads like Newberry?

Unfortunately they weren’t able to finish the project as planned and it’s about to start up again for round two. Fortunately, the County says things might not be as bad this time around.

From July 19th through the end of September, the County plans to close Cornelius Pass Road between Highway 30 and Skyline in order to complete a road safety project. No one rides Cornelius Pass Road because it’s such a busy highway and there are much better options nearby. Unfortunately, all the car and truck drivers need to find options too — which means rural roads in the general area are likely to see extra motorized traffic the closure. (Last year the detoured traffic on Newberry was especially hard to swallow because it came right after it was carfree for many months due to a landslide repair.)

The good news is this project shouldn’t create as many hazards and headaches for bicycle riders as last year.



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For starters, the presence of the pandemic means there are a lot fewer people driving on the pass into Washington County for work every day. The closure is also smaller in scope: Last year it went all the way south to Germantown Road, this year it only goes to Skyline. Also new this year is that the County will “close” the upper section of Logie Trail Road (another popular road between Highway 30 and Skyline) to all but local residents. This is due to safety concerns with the narrow, windy, and deteriorated road. The County says they’ll have “Local Traffic Only” signs and barricades on the upper section, but I’ve been assured that bicycle riders can continue to use Logie Trail Road as normal.

Logie Trail is a wonderful climb and while Newberry might get busy for a while, this could be a great time to (re)discover it!

This project also means that the traffic signal on Highway 30 at Newberry will be turned on again for the duration of the 10 week (or so) project and the intersection of Cornelius Pass and Skyline will become a four-way stop. These temporary changes will make both these intersections safer to cross on a bike.

Keep this project in mind as you ride in the area and be ready to use even more caution and expect more traffic than usual. The project should be done by October. More info on the County’s website.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org
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