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ODOT bids exceed funding for Mt. Hood project

The Oregon Department of Transportation will need to rethink its plans for the U.S. 26 Mt. Hood Safety Project. After opening contractor bids for the project on Nov. 21, it found the bids substantially exceeded the funding available for the project.

ODOT received five bids.

The department is working to reduce the project to fit within the budget but still meet the safety needs of the highway. Originally, the project would have placed concrete median barrier along a 2.3-mile section of Highway 26 from east of Kiwanis Camp Road to east of the Mirror Lake Trailhead.

This would require widening the highway and dealing with rockfall hazards by cutting back the slope from the roadway by about 40 feet along the segment of the Highway known as Map Curve.

The project was also meant to repave nearly 8 miles of the highway.

ODOT engineers are looking at how the project will be modified. Specifics should be available by mid-January.

The design team estimates the project will be rebid in the spring. Instead of beginning in April as originally planned, construction will begin in early summer.

— Kylie Wray