Slowdowns on I-84 Thursday due to blasting

Dust flies during an Oct. 12 rock blast along Interstate 84 in this video still from Oregon Department of Transportation.

Interstate 84 will see rolling slowdowns and delays west of Hood River between 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 19 for rock blasting while crews build the latest segment of the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail.

The delays, lasting up to an hour, will be the third in a series of up to seven blasts this fall near milepost 53.

Oregon Department of Transportation sent out a news release detailing the rock blasting work:


The blasting is part of constructing the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail segment between and Wyeth and Lindsey Creek. At Lindsey Creek, blasting will create room for the new segment of trail in the existing rock slope.

This work is located in the same area where eastbound traffic is temporarily diverted into one lane of westbound I-84 due to fire debris removal activity from the Eagle Creek fire.

“Keeping travelers safe from blasting activities is a top priority,” ODOT staff said. The rolling slowdowns ensure travelers are not in the area as blast occurs. After the blasts, crews will remove rock debris from I-84 before reopening the highway.

The blasts will take place about once a week through mid-November. ODOT will announce exact dates in advance of each blast.

More work at state trail

As part of the State Trail construction, a contractor is rock scaling to remove loose rock from the slopes at Shellrock Mountain. No extra traffic impacts are expected from this work.

The same traffic shift now in place for fire debris removal was planned for early 2018 for trail work and rock scaling.

“Taking advantage of the shift and getting the work done now while the fire debris work is under way reduces the chance that an additional traffic shift for trail work will be needed this winter or spring,” ODOT staff said.

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