Crown Point-Vista House closed until Feb. 1

The Historic Columbia River Highway will remain closed until Feb. 1 from Larch Mountain Road to Latourell Falls Road while a highway restoration project continues.

The 2.5-mile closure means access to the Crown Point site will remain closed to the public. The Vista House building will remain closed for the winter.

Crews are restoring the 600-foot Crown Point viaduct encircling the 1918 building. Vista House itself, part of the Oregon State Parks system, underwent a five-year restoration completed in 2005.

The viaduct and its 29 support columns are deteriorating. Without restoration, the walls could fail and the road could require weight restrictions, which could keep tourist buses, RVs and other large vehicles off the road.

Completion is expected by late spring 2013.

The road, now called the Historic Columbia River Highway, opened in 1916. Two years later, Vista House opened at the Crown Point summit 733 feet above the Columbia River. Crown Point typically receives more than half a million visitors a year.

For more information, go to http://1.usa.gov/U0qSMB.

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