ODOT reopens eastbound lanes of I-84 after weeks-long closure - KPTV - FOX 12

ODOT reopens eastbound lanes of I-84 after weeks-long closure

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KPTV/Brenna Kelly KPTV/Brenna Kelly
COLUMBIA RIVER GORGE, OR (KPTV) -

The Oregon Department of Transportation has reopened the eastbound lanes of Interstate 84 in the Columbia River Gorge after the Eagle Creek Fire shut down the highway earlier this month.

ODOT reopened eastbound I-84 just after 1 p.m. Saturday.

I-84 was closed between Troutdale and Hood River on Sept. 4 after the Eagle Creek Fire began to spread quickly through the Gorge. ODOT reopened westbound lanes on Sept. 14, but the eastbound lanes remained closed due to the fire and threat of falling trees and landslides.

For many truckers, it’s been weeks of waiting.

“I can’t just stop somewhere else and get fuel. I gotta get fuel where they say get fuel. That’s how it works,” said Jaime Padilla, a truck driver refueling at Love's in Troutdale on Saturday.

Truckers in Troutdale relieved that the interstate reopened fueled up for their next stretch. 

“I saw the closures and I was worried about it because that’s one of our main routes,” said Jonathan Powell, who was heading south. 

And once the gates opened on Saturday, it was freedom at last for drivers. 

"Oh, it’s really gonna make things better because I can catch up," said Mike Crause, a driver for Chemical Waste Management Northwest.

Due to continuing fire activity at Shellrock Mountain, ODOT says eastbound traffic will be diverted onto the westbound highway alignment by milepost 52. For a 1.2-mile stretch of road, eastbound and westbound traffic will each travel on one 18-foot wide lane in each direction.

The speed limit on that section has been reduced to 50 miles per hour, and no bike traffic will be allowed on that section of the road.

The new configuration will be in place for the foreseeable future, according to ODOT.

ODOT says while the interstate is open, not all exits and parks are open. Here is the full list:

Ramps

  • Historic Columbia River Highway, MP 8.7 at Larch Mountain Road: closed, resident access only.
  • I-84 Exit 28, Bridal Veil: closed, resident access only.
  • I-84 Exit 31, Multnomah Falls: closed. 
  • I-84 Exit 35, Historic Columbia River Highway, Ainsworth interchange open but access to U.S. 30  closed
  • Frontage Road--Dodson Road east from Warrendale interchange to John B Yeon State Park: closed, resident access only
  • I-84 Exit 40, Bonneville south of interchange: closed
  • I-84 Exit 41, Eagle Creek: closed
  • State Parks Trail at Cascade Locks to Eagle Creek: closed
  • I-84 Exit 56,  Viento interchange: pen; north and south access closed

State Parks Open:

  • Rooster Rock
  • Starvation Creek (No access to Trails)
  • Dabney
  • Women’s Forum.

State Parks Closed:

  • Viento
  • Ainsworth
  • Toothrock
  • John B. Yeon
  • HCRH Trail
  • Angel’s Rest
  • Sheppard’s Dell
  • Bridal Veil
  • Latourell  Falls
  • Guy Talbot
  • Crown Point and Vista House: closed for season.

All ramps to and from Cascade Locks are open, according to ODOT.

ODOT would like to remind drivers that they may not stop anywhere along the interstate because it remains an active fire zone. Cars parked on the shoulder will be towed.

Additionally, the Washington State Department of Transportation said State Route 14 is now open to all vehicles between Washougal and Dallesport.

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