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Multiple crashes reported in first days of closure as drivers use unfamiliar routes

PMG PHOTO: ANNA DEL SAVIO - The recommended detour route during the Cornelius Pass Road closure is along Northwest Newberry Road.After numerous delays, the long-anticipated Cornelius Pass Road closure started on Monday, July 22.

A number of crashes were reported in the first days of the closure, primarily at points where stop signs have been rearranged.

Before the closure, many motorists said they planned to use alternative routes, traveling on Logie Trail or McNamee roads instead of the detour path on Newberry Road. For some, the first few days of the closure showed that conditions on those roads were no better than on Newberry.

"We want to remind people to use the detour route on Newberry Road, which has a protected left turn onto Highway 30. Traffic engineers have looked closely at the detour and identified it as the safest route," a Multnomah County spokesperson, Jessica Morkert-Shibley, wrote in an email.

Construction crews moved stop signs along the detour route to make an uninterrupted path for drivers. That means that stop signs were added to other streets, but not all motorists have caught on. Throughout the week, multiple people reported seeing cars blow through stop signs, unaware that they had been installed.

Multnomah County officials are reminding motorists to exercise additional caution as they adjust to the detour route.

Large trucks are not permitted on the detour roads, though some have reported seeing trucks on those roads. Cars and pick-up trucks are allowed on the detour route, but large trucks departing Columbia County must take High-

way 30 to Portland and get on I-5.

While motorists adjust to the traffic changes, construction crews have begun work.

"The contractor started work on S-curve improvements and minor work at 8th Ave. Monday morning. On Thursday and Friday of this week, crews will start heavy work including sight distance, shoulder widening and signage work at the intersection of Kaiser Rd," Morkert-Shibley wrote.

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