I-84 Through Gorge Staying Closed Through Weekend, SR 14 Open And Flowing

Sep 8, 2017
Originally published on September 8, 2017 10:10 am

The Eagle Creek fire has littered a section of Interstate 84 in the Columbia River Gorge with fallen trees and rocks and there are scores more hazard trees that should be cut. 

Oregon's Department of Transportation says will the freeway will stay closed at least through the weekend—possibly longer.

On the Washington side of the river is Highway 14. It’s a narrow, two lane highway that hugs the north bank of the Columbia River. It remains open although there are wildfires in its vicinity too.

There's no way Highway 14 can pick up the slack for the closed I-84. Fortunately, it looks like drivers are heeding the official advice to avoid non-essential trips. Traffic on Thursday evening was heavy, but mostly flowed close to the speed limit during a drive from White Salmon to Washougal and Camas.

It helps that semi-trucks are not allowed on this stretch for now, and enforcement of that was present at both ends.

For trucks the closest bypass to the north of the burning Gorge is a mess, but not because of fires. Repaving of U.S. Highway 12 necessitates alternating one lane traffic on both sides of White Pass causing delays of a half hour or more. 

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