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Scenic highway to close April 15 to May 23

The Historic Columbia River Highway and the landmark Vista House will be closed April 15 through May 23 as the year-long highway restoration project nears completion.

The building will reopen in time for Memorial Day weekend activities.

The project to restore the viaduct surrounding Vista House began last summer and should be completed in June. The closures and associated traffic delays have been necessary because of the complexity of the project and the challenging work in the Columbia River Gorge.

Here is the closure schedule for the final stages of the project:

Through April 14: Periodic lane closures with traffic delays of up to 30 minutes. Vista House open daily 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

April 15 to May 23: Closed to all pedestrians and vehicles, including bicycles, from Larch Mountain Road to Latourell Falls. Vista House closed.

May 24, 12:01 a.m. to noon: Periodic single lane closures with delays of up to 30 minutes. Vista House open at 9 a.m.

Noon Friday, May 24, to 12:01 a.m. to Tuesday May 28, Memorial Day weekend: Road open with no traffic restrictions. Vista House will be open daily 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

May 28 to mid-June: Periodic lane closures with traffic delays of up to 30 minutes. Vista House open daily 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The project will restore the 600-foot viaduct surrounding Vista House, which is part of the Oregon State Parks system. The viaduct and its 29 support columns are deteriorating and without restoration, the road could require weight restrictions which would keep tourist buses, RV’s and other large vehicles off this section of the road.

The road, now called the Historic Columbia River Highway, opened in 1916. Two years later, Vista House opened at the Crown Point summit 733 feet above the Columbia River. Crown Point typically receives more than half a million visitors a year.

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