W Burnside lane could be closed for years after landslide

Roads still closed from winter landslides

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Winter may be officially over, but it is still causing headaches for commuters. Especially those driving through Portland's West Hills.

Three popular routes there still have barriers up. One of them is West Burnside.

The city closed down one of the west-bound lanes in January after part of the hillside above it came crashing down. Since then, barriers direct drivers around the area.

The Portland Bureau of Transportation says it's a matter of safety.

"That hill has continued to move since January ," said Dylan Rivera, a spokesman with the bureau.

And because the hill continues to slide, Rivera said the lane closure there could be in place for a while.

"Yeah, it could be years, it could be years," he admitted.

Certainly a longer period of time than many drivers expected.

"Yeah that's unbelievable," said Garret Blizzard, who commutes along that stretch of West Burnside every day. "This is the first time I've heard that it is going to take years to fix that," he said.

Blizzard said, with traffic only down to one lane there, things get clogged up quickly.

"It wastes time, it causes congestion, but I think, honestly, the safety is the biggest concern," he said.

The city also has no timeline for when a small section of Northwest Thurman will be fixed.
 
Rivera said crews won't start rebuilding it until the hill below it is stable.

But there is an end in sight for the closure on Northwest Newberry Road. That road has been closed west of Highway 30 since January. A major slide took out a chunk of it.

"Newberry Road is the poster child for getting clobbered by the rains this winter," said Multnomah County spokesman Mike Pullen.

© 2017 KGW-TV


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