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Big Trucks On Small Roads on Highway 26

Categories: Transportation

Moving a half-million cubic yards of debris for safety work puts large trucks on small roads on Mt. Hood. The U.S. 26 Mount Hood Safety Project will divert a lot of big trucks through Zig Zag on Lolo Pass Road and other small rural roads that aren't used to seeing heavy truck traffic. A lot of our guests visit the mountain for summer recreating as much as they do in the winter. So we wanted to pass along this safety messaging from ODOT.

The project, which will take place on and off through 2015, will mean moving nearly a half-million cubic yards of dirt, rocks and trees to make U.S. 26 safer as it passes over Mount Hood and through Government Camp. And during this work, many large truck and trailer will be use onto roads that lead to rural communities and popular recreation areas on Mount Hood, including Lolo Pass Road and Trillium Lake Road.

Anne M'Kinne, a resident along Lolo Pass Road, reminded neighbors they all need to take steps to get ready for heavy truck traffic in an area that doesn't see much heavy truck traffic, "We all need to keep brush away from our driveways to improve visibility when pulling out," she said. "We need to keep close watch on our pets so they don't get loose on Lolo Pass Road and tell delivery drivers and visitors about the increased traffic. And we all need to make sure we report bad drivers to Clackamas County."

The project will reduce fatal and severe crossover crashes and rockfalls on U.S. 26 by placing a center barrier along a 1.6 mile stretch from the runaway truck escape ramp to east of Mirror Lake and cut back the rock slopes. Work will end in 2016.

Here are some tips to help people using the rural roads operate safely around the heavy trucks.

BE VISIBLE: If you are walking, jogging, riding a bike or riding a horse be as visible as possible and wear reflective clothing·
LISTEN for oncoming trucks and do not use head phones that could block the sound of trucks approaching
BLIND SPOTS: When riding a bike, ride with traffic and in the middle of the travel lane so you do not end up in a truck's blind spot
WALK FACING TRAFFIC: When walking, walk on the opposite side of the road to keep your eye on oncoming traffic and be more easily seen.
PULL OUT SAFELY: When pulling out of your driveway onto the haul roads, fully stop and look for trucks and other road users before proceeding. Consider parking so that you can pull out of your driveway rather than back out to increase your ability to see oncoming trucks.