ODOT wins $28 million federal grant for Historic Highway project

Not many gaps left.

The Oregon Department of Transportation has inched ever closer to its goal of reconnecting a 75-mile paved path and low-volume road between Troutdale and The Dalles. Their Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail project just won a $28 million grant from the US Department of Transportation for the Mitchell Point Crossing.

The grant, which comes from the Federal Highway Administration’s Federal Lands Access Program, will allow ODOT to complete engineering designs and trail connections on one of the last remaining (and most technically and financially demanding) segments of the project — a safe crossing around Mitchell Point that might include a new tunnel. Before Interstate 84 existed the old highway used to go through the Mitchell Point Tunnel. That tunnel and large segments of the road that led into them were closed in 1953 as cars and trucks increased in size and rockfalls became too hazardous.