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After turbulent summer construction, second closure planned for summer 2020

PMG PHOTO: ANNA DEL SAVIO - A truck travels south on Northwest Cornelius Pass Road prior to the road closure in summer 2019.The Cornelius Pass Road closure proceeded last summer with numerous delays. Despite initial plans for one three-month closure, the road will be closed again this summer.

The closure increased congestion and travel times for commuters from Columbia County to Hillsboro and surrounding areas. Semi-trucks using illegal detour routes resulted in numerous traffic jams as trucks got stuck on tight corners or slid off the narrow detour road.

In summer, construction will continue to realign and repave the "S-curves" on the road, as well as replace a tube under the road near Northwest 8th Avenue, which allows for water and fish passage.

"Construction began in July and was expected to be completed in September. Unfortunately, the construction team experienced a number of schedule impacts that prevented project completion within the permitted season for paving and in-water work," a Multnomah County spokesperson wrote in September.

Construction fell behind schedule before it even started. The closure was pushed to later dates in July as crews waited on parts for the temporary traffic signal at the detour start on Highway 30 and Newberry Road, which had to be operational before Cornelius Pass Road was closed.

Wildish Standard Paving was the contractor on the project. The contract outlined financial penalties for completing the project after Sept. 21. The road did not reopen until Oct. 22.

As of press time, a spokesperson for Multnomah County had not responded to questions about if Wildish would continue as the contractor for the summer closure or if Wildish had appealed the penalties.


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