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TROUTDALE, Ore. -- Transportation crews began removing a rock slide Monday that has closed the Historic Columbia River Highway for over a week, according to Oregon Department of Transportation spokesman Don Hamilton.

The road was expected to reopen on Wednesday, according to ODOT.

About a quarter-mile of the popular roadway has remained closed since June 5 after approximately 100 dump-truck loads of rocks and dirt came crashing down onto the highway just north of the Stark Street Bridge.

Hamilton said an especially large excavator was needed to move the slide, which includes rocks as tall at ten feet.

More: Columbia River Highway remains closed

The excavator had to be ordered from a private company in Washington and sent in three parts. The parts had been delivered and the excavator was assembled Monday. Removal work began around 2 p.m.

Heavy rains and freezing temperatures were the likely cause of a series of rock slides in the Columbia River Gorge throughout the winter.

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