Crews hired by Oregon Department of Transportation do rock fall abatement last week along Interstate 84 at milepost 61, just west of Hood River.
Slides have been a problem in 2014 and in 2005, when the freeway was partly blocked. Gerred Gerber, left, and Brian King of Rock Supremacy of Bend are among the team of climbers who rappel from project neighbors’ property atop the 100-foot cliff and use tools and their hands and feet to knock loose chunks of rock, ranging from gravel to three-feet in width, as part of the $1.37 million (estimated) project.
Four-foot “scale bar” at ready, Alex Andreg coordinates his movements with another crew member. Next up: crews will start drilling for 20-foot-deep rock bolts and for drainage holes to relieve pressure inside the cliff; that work, including additional site analysis by hydrologists, will take three or more weeks, though crews have until Nov. 23 to finish. Throughout the project, east-bound traffic is reduced to one lane from milepost 60 to 62.