Hwy. 224 Reopens After 2020 Wildfires

ESTACADA, Ore. — More than a year and a half after being closed for 19 miles due to extensive damage from the Labor Day 2020 wildfires, Highway 224 east of Estacada reopened on Sunday morning.  However, familiar recreation sites will remain closed with the Clackamas River Corridor mostly offer a driving, sightseeing experience this summer.

“These communities experienced real hardships as a result of the massive wildfires of 2020,” said Rian Windsheimer, ODOT Portland area manager.  “Today, ODOT and our partners are pleased to celebrate the reopening of this road, but much more forest recovery work still lies ahead of us.”

Crews with the Oregon Department of Transportation have been busy clearing debris, removing tens of thousands of dead or dying trees, repairing the road, replacing signs, installing 11 miles of new guardrails, pinning in mesh panels to hold back debris and re-seeding the soil with new plants of species native to the Mount Hood National Forest including shrubs and undergrowth.

Boulder that landed on the highway recently

Work will continue seven days a week in several locations as crews complete recovery work, rock scaling and repair potholes.  A full paving is planned for summer.  There will be frequent weekday closures of up to 20 minutes and trucks loaded with debris will be more common.  “Rough Road” signs will be placed in the areas to be paved.

The U.S. Forest Service reopened the Hole in the Wall and Moore Creek boat access sites along with the Big Eddy day use site to all river users.  All other recreation facilities remain closed through at least the rest of the year.

ODOT crews bolt in mesh netting

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