As of Tuesday, November 26, 2013
The Dalles Thanks, road crew
To the editor:
We write to thank the Wasco County Road Department for the thoughtful job they have recently completed to improve safety on Sevenmile Hill Road.
The extraordinary beauty and clear delineation of the forest lands and the high desert, as well as the mountains and Columbia River, create a spectacular view that draws many. Besides regular vehicle traffic to and from town, there are people jogging, riding bikes, riding horses and walking their dog.
Wildflower tour buses use this road at certain times of the year. Bicycle races can make travel for residents on this road inconvenient and even frightening.
Sevenmile Hill is a curving, dangerous road, without shoulders and sharp drop offs in many locations. It has improved considerably since we homesteaded here in 1979, becoming paved after the road grader just couldn’t keep up with the ruts caused by the increasing traffic.
7-Mile Hill Road rises 1,800 feet in just a few miles and in the winter time the top can have deep snow and heavy fog, making it extremely treacherous and especially in the dark, hard to determine where the edge of the road is. The added chevrons to some of the most dangerous corners, barriers along some of the steep drop-off and delineators above ground, will help a driver better determine the edge of the road.
The crews have painted the center line, which most of the way is a no-passing, double yellow strip. The crew put reflectors on the road at the edge of the sharpest curves and painted the fog line. Other warning signs have also been added. The County does an admirable job of keeping the road clear in inclement weather and more than once it has been the only way to get around closures of I-84.
Trying to make this road safe is a real challenge as further development increases the number of folks on the road. We really appreciate the efforts of the County to make this road safer, but it remains a road that people should always negotiate with caution.
John and Sandee Burbank