Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Renovation of the Historic Columbia River Highway and the viaduct surrounding the Vista House has been completed and one of the state’s most popular tourist attractions is fully open.
The project has meant lane closures and, on occasion, full closures of the Historic Columbia River Highway that winds around Vista House. The work presented many difficulties on a raw, exposed site hundreds of feet above the Columbia River Gorge.
The project restored the 600-foot Crown Point viaduct and its 29 support columns. Vista House itself, part of the Oregon State Parks system, underwent a five-year restoration, completed in 2005, and was not involved in this project.
The viaduct and its support columns were deteriorating and without restoration, the walls eventually would have failed and the road would have required weight restrictions, which would have kept tourist buses, RVs and other large vehicles off the road.
While the focus of the project was rehabilitating the Crown Point viaduct, the project included restoration of portions of Historic Columbia River Highway between Larch Mountain Road and Latourell Falls.
The restoration maintained the original appearance as much as practical.
The project included:
n repair and replacement of viaduct columns and footings;
n repair and strengthening of the bottom of the viaduct deck;
n repairing cracks in the top of the viaduct deck and parapet;
n restoration of viaduct light fixtures and updating of electrical components;
n repair of the masonry retaining wall beneath the viaduct structure and repair of a failing section of roadway; and
n rehabilitation of the upper west parking lot at Crown Point.
The restoration project attempted wherever possible to maintain the original appearance of the structure.
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, a dramatic western gateway to the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area.
The project was a joint effort of the Federal Highway Administration, Western Federal Lands Highway Division; the Oregon Department of Transportation; and the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.
For more project information, go to http://1.usa.gov/U0qSMB.
More like this story
- Letters to the Editor for April 29
- Library District wins award for Odell Library Express project
- OSU spring plant sale canceled
- HRVHS music students win spots at state championships in May
- Summer youth employment at Next Door
- Patterson takes second at Oregon Speech event
- Delta Kappa marks 50 years, holds Spring Fling Bingo May 13
- Steelhead Robotics returns from World event
- Local students named to OSU honor roll
- Destination Imagination team prepares for Global Finals
I Can't Keep Quiet singers at "Citizen Town Hall"
‘I can’t keep quiet,’ sing members of an impromptu choir in front of Hood River Middle School Saturday prior to the citizen town hall for questions to Rep. Greg Walden. The song addresses female empowerment generally and sexual violence implicitly, and gained prominence during the International Women’s Day events in January. The singers braved a sudden squall to finish their song and about 220 people gathered in HRMS auditorium, which will be the scene of the April 12 town hall with Rep. Greg Walden, at 3 p.m. Enlarge