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Historic Highway open following landslide

The Historic Columbia River Highway reopened at early in the afternoon of June 24 — nearly three weeks after a rock slide closed the road at the Stark Street Bridge east of Troutdale.

On June 24, crews patched the road surface and finished installing a concrete barrier and an 8-foot fence to catch falling rock. Sometime later this summer, the Oregon Department of Transportation will install a new mesh screen for the rock face and re-surface and re-stripe the road, but the date is not yet set.

On June 5, about 1,000 cubic yards of rock and other material blocked the highway immediately west of the Stark Street Bridge.

The process of clearing the road involved rock scalers who rappelled down the 120-foot rock face, a hydraulic lift bucket that brought inspectors face to face with the wall, and a high reach excavator used to pull down large rock outcroppings.

The excavator was hauled from Tacoma, Wash., on three trucks and re-assembled at the site. It was used to bring down additional debris that was loose and threatened the roadway below. By the time the road was cleared, 4,368 cubic yards of debris, or 364 truckloads, had been hauled from the site.

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