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Popular road between Hillsboro and Scappoose will close for months as crews repair the highway.

PMG PHOTO: ANNA DEL SAVIO - Safety improvements on Cornelius Pass mean the road will close to traffic from early July to early October. While the detour route for cars will go along Newberry Road, trucks will have to travel further down Highway 30 to get on Highway 26. PMG PHOTO: ANNA DEL SAVIO - Safety improvements on Cornelius Pass mean the road will close to traffic from early July to early October. While the detour route for cars will go along Newberry Road, trucks will have to travel further down Highway 30 to get on Highway 26.Just weeks remaining before Cornelius Pass Road closes for long-awaited safety improvements leading from Hillsboro north to Multnomah and Columbia counties.

Cornelius Pass Road is expected to close closure is anticipated to begin the week of July 8. While a mid-July closure has been planned for months, the exact closure date wasn't set until recently.

"The contractor needs to complete a couple of tasks before we'll allow them to close the road," Multnomah County spokesperson Mike Pullen said. The closure will begin July 8 unless the contractor, Wildish Standard Paving, is not able to complete those tasks in time. The key requirement is installing a temporary traffic light at Highway 30 and Northwest Newberry Road, which is set to begin this week.

The closure, which has been in the works for years, will address some of the safety issues that have made Cornelius Pass the site of frequent accidents.

At a June 11 meeting, Multnomah County Communications Coordinator Mike Pullen shared the long saga of fatal accidents, funding gained and lost, and planning for the road, which connects Hillsboro with Highway 30.

Cornelius Pass Road will be closed from Highway 30 to Northwest Germantown Road. More than 13,000 trips are made along Cornelius Pass each day. Many of those trips are commuters who traverse the narrow, windy road twice a day.

"After 12 years, we are ready to do this work and inconvenience a lot of people and make the road safer," Pullen said.

The anticipated reopening date is Sept. 21, but may change once construction is underway. With cash incentives for completing the project on time, and financial penalties for completing the project after that date, the contractor has additional motivation to shorten the road closure.

Logie Trail Road can also be used as a detour path, but officials are urging commuters to choose safer routes. At some points, the road is so narrow that two cars can't pass each other, Pullen explained.

Trucks won't be allowed on Newberry Road, so truck drivers will have to take Highway 30 to Highway 26. Commuters on Highway 30 may experience longer commute times, as the roughly 1,500 trucks that travel on Cornelius Pass each day will soon be adding to highway congestion.

Commuters to Hillsboro will see delays. With the increase of traffic on Highway 30, commuters who travel to Portland along the road may see longer travel times.

Transportation officials have also encouraged commuters to carpool during construction by visiting www.drivelessconnect.com.


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