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Report indicates 171 crashes from Multnomah County line to Highway 30 over six-year span

Improvements to a portion of Cornelius Pass Road are slated to take place beginning in 2019.

A recent transportation funding bill called for the Oregon Department of Transportation to acquire jurisdiction of a section of the road between Highway 26 and Highway 30.

It's unclear when ODOT will acquire jurisdiction.

SPOTLIGHT FILE PHOTO - A tractor trailer truck makes its way toward Washington County using Cornelius Pass Road. The road is slated to be transfered to state jurisdiction, but it's unclear when that will take place.Multnomah County says it will undertake part of a safety improvement project it had planned for a portion of the road, likely beginning in 2019.

Some of the safety project elements proposed include reduced pavement drop-offs, flashing beacons near milepost 3, wider shoulders in some areas, additional vehicle pullouts and "comprehensive signing upgrades."

The road has been plagued by deferred maintenance and a backlog of needed upgrades, a Multnomah County project overview indicates.

"One goal of the transfer is to bring the standard of the road closer to the standards of ODOT, to the greatest extent possible," Mike Pullen, a communications officer with Multnomah County, stated in a news release last week. "Standards include elements such as traffic signs, guardrails and road geometry."

Cornelius Pass Road is split between Multnomah and Washington counties and is often used as a bypass for tractor trailer trucks carrying freight. Many Columbia County residents who work in Washington County or attend Portland Community College use the road to commute.

It's long been considered a dangerous road.

Crash data indicates 171 crashes took place from the Multnomah County line to Highway 30 from 2003 to 2009.

The road received increased attention from Columbia County due to teen driving deaths in 2008 and 2015.

ODOT has asked Multnomah County to complete its portion of safety upgrades before the transfer. It's unclear what upgrades, if any, have been planned in Washington County.

Construction on a portion of Newberry Road between Highway 30 and Northwest Skyline Boulevard, which has been closed for months following a landslide in January, is slated to be repaired beginning spring 2018. Newberry Road will serve as a detour road for small trucks and cars once reopened.

The reconstruction project is estimated at $1.8 million, according to Multnomah County project information.

A public meeting to discuss Cornelius Pass Road further is planned for early 2018, but an exact date has yet to be announced.

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