ODOT Crews Make Progress on Road Repairs

Oregon Department of Transportation crews are making progress clearing and repairing roads damaged by wildfire around the state, but roughly 47 miles of highway remain closed, while another 43 miles are open to pilot-led traffic only.

At its peak, 244 miles of highway were closed in Oregon. In the last week, ODOT removed “imminent threat trees” — fire-weakened trees that pose the greatest risk of falling — were removed in 95 miles of damaged area.

Removing such trees is a top priority and must be done before other repairs can continue. Crews are also assessing culverts, guardrails, pavement, slopes, signs and equipment for damage.

Here’s what drivers can expect around the state:

Highway 126E

Current status: Pilot cars are running between MP 27.55 to MP 38 in one direction at a time. Check TripCheck.com for the latest schedule.

ODOT has removed imminent threat trees along 24 miles, assessed 19 bridges and 32 of 134 culverts. None of those were damaged. Of 494 signs we assessed, 424 will need to be replaced. All 45 miles of guardrails have been inspected and 1.35 miles will need to be replaced.

Highway 22E

Current status: Closed from MP 56 to MP 65. 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.com for the schedule.

ODOT has removed almost all imminent threat trees along 17 miles, and has also assessed 1,022 signs, 104 of which will need to be replaced, 18.69 miles of guardrail, 3 miles of which are damaged, and 40 of 65 miles of pavement, none of which is damaged according to preliminary assessments.

Highway 224

Current status: Closed between MP 31 and MP 49.97. Forest Service Road 46 is closed as well.

ODOT has removed almost all imminent threat trees along 32 miles, and assessed 406 signs, 200 of which will need to be replaced. Temporary signs for slides have been installed.

Highway 138E

Current status: Pilot cars are operating between MP 21 and 29. Expect delays.

ODOT has removed imminent threat trees along 22 miles, with two more miles that need to be checked. In that same area, 3 miles of pavement has been damaged. Of 7.55 miles of guardrail assessed, 5.5 miles have been damaged.

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 ODOT’s progress at its wildfire resources webpage, which includes information on closures, repairs and assessments to date.

Even after roads are fully reopened, heavy rain will be a concern in fire-stricken areas. ODOT may have further work to do to stabilize hillsides or clear debris from falls.

Slides and debris flows are a particular concern — especially after rains — in areas where fire has stripped away vegetation, tree roots and underbrush.

Partial openings that allow limited traffic while work continues will be common. 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.

Drivers should check TripCheck.com for updates on closures.

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