Reopening date for historic Ore. highway up in the air after slide

Reopening date for historic Ore. highway up in the air after slide
The size of the boulders is evident in this photograph taken by KATU Photojournalist Mike Warner Thursday, June 5, 2014.

TROUTDALE, Ore. – The Oregon Department of Transportation underestimated how long it will take to clear a rockslide on the Historic Columbia River Highway.

It had hoped to clear the huge boulders blocking the road by this week, but now it's estimated it could be another week before the road is back open.

A June 5 rockslide just west of the Stark Street Bridge forced ODOT to close a section of the road.

About 1,000 cubic yards of rock and debris slid off the hillside and onto the roadway.

Clean-up crews brought in a high-reach excavator to remove rocks that could potentially fall onto the road. The huge machine should wrap up its work by Friday.

Crews have already removed some loose rock, but the excavator is needed to remove larger sections that could come loose. Once that is done, and debris cleaned up, a final inspection of the rock face and the road surface must be done before traffic can be cleared to move through.

There is no official estimate on when the road will be re-opened.

The road is closed between Woodard Road and the Stark Street Bridge. To get to the historic highway, drivers will need to use Interstate 84 and take Exit 22 to Corbett.