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Landslide closes historic highway

A worker makes his way through rocks on the Historic Columbia River Highway June 5, east of Portland. State transportation spokesman Don Hamilton said about 1,000 cubic yards of rock and dirt fell Thursday morning, including what he described to The Oregonian as "one very large rock." He says the highway will remain closed Thursday and Friday and probably into the weekend.

A worker makes his way through rocks on the Historic Columbia River Highway June 5, east of Portland. State transportation spokesman Don Hamilton said about 1,000 cubic yards of rock and dirt fell Thursday morning, including what he described to The Oregonian as "one very large rock." He says the highway will remain closed Thursday and Friday and probably into the weekend. AP Photo/The Oregonian, Beth Nakamura

PORTLAND (AP) β€” A landslide has closed part of the Historic Columbia River Highway east of Portland for a few days.

The state Department of Transportation says the slide is west of the Stark Street Bridge, which remains open and allows travel between Troutdale and Corbett.

State transportation spokesman Don Hamilton said about 1,000 cubic yards of rock and dirt fell Thursday morning, including what he described to The Oregonian β€œone very large rock.”

The highway built from 1913 to 1922 between Portland and The Dalles.

Rock scalers inspected the wall above the rock slide on the Historic Columbia River Highway Friday to make sure no loose rocks remain. They will rappel down the 100-foot rock face with their scaling tools and remove any debris that could threaten clean-up crews on the road below. Once they have secured the wall, cleanup of the road may begin.

Once the site is safe, crews will haul the rock away, clear the road and check the road for damage. Infrequent smaller slides have continued at the site. ODOT is not aware of any injuries.

The Historic Columbia River Highway remains closed between Woodard Road and the Stark Street Bridge. ODOT expects the road will remain closed through Friday with no estimated time for re-opening.

Shortly before noon Thursday June 5, about a thousand cubic yards of rock and debris - 100 truckloads - fell onto the highway at a point about 100 yards west of the Stark Street Bridge. The slide, including two large boulders, is blocking the entire roadway but fell just short of toppling a utility pole.

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