OR FS ER 2007 Oregon Hwy 35 Betterments, White River and Clark/Newton Sites
WFLHD completed a study of seven damage-prone sites along Oregon Highway 35 in July of 2003. The study was in response to growing concern over the ongoing need for the emergency repair of debris flow damage to Highway 35. The study included seven historically damaged sites in the White River and East Fork Hood River areas. The study identified and evaluated feasible alternatives for each site that would reduce the severity of the debris flow problem. The costs and benefits of alternatives were discussed, including impacts to travel times, safety, maintenance, natural floodplains, recreation, plants, animals and aesthetics.
In November 2006, a debris flow event damaged Highway 35 at three of the seven study sites—White River, Clark Creek, and Newton Creek. The event closed the highway, creating transportation problems, restricting access to recreational sites within the Forest, and requiring costly repairs. In May 2007, Emergency Relief funding from FHWA was identified for long term improvements to Highway 35. Through the request of ODOT, WFLHD became the lead agency in developing alternatives, with the USFS and ODOT acting as partner agencies.
WFLHD began the scoping process (information gathering and design analysis) in late 2007 using the alternatives and information in the 2003 Feasibility Study. Because the debris events damage the road at White River and Clark and Newton Creeks differently (influenced by separate glaciers), WFLHD developed design solutions to address the problems at White River as one project and Clark and Newton Creek as another.