Cornelius Pass Road to be impacted by cleanup project

Release date: 03/18/2016
Sponsored by: Department of Land Use and Transportation, Operations and Maintenance Division

Traffic on Cornelius Pass Road will be disrupted on Easter weekend as the County's contractor completes the cleanup of contaminated soil resulting from a gasoline spill caused when a double tanker truck overturned in January.

The southbound lane of Cornelius Pass Road, between Old Cornelius Pass and Germantown roads, will be closed from about 7 p.m. Friday, March 25, through 7 p.m. Sunday, March 27. During the work, Germantown Road will be closed between Cornelius Pass and Old Cornelius Pass roads for equipment staging. Two-way traffic will be flagged through the work area on Cornelius Pass Road. Crews will be working around the clock to complete the project as quickly and efficiently as possible. 

Travelers are advised to expect delays during this work or use alternate routes. 

On Jan. 8, a tanker truck overturned into the west ditch after a crash with a pickup truck. Washington County Department of Land Use &Transportation and Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue responded promptly, preventing the spill from reaching nearby creeks and other water sources.

"At the time of the spill, there was concern that the roadway itself may have been contaminated," said Dave Schamp, LUT Operations and Maintenance Services manager. "Recent testing indicates that there is some contamination under about half of the southbound travel lane." 

There is no groundwater contamination, Schamp said.

"And we want to keep it that way. The holiday weekend was the soonest we could get all the necessary permits and crews together, so that's when we're going to perform the work. We don't want to run the risk of the contamination spreading." 

The County's contractor will be removing the impacted portions of the existing roadway and underlying material for disposal. The roadway will then be replaced. 

"This is not an ideal weekend for a road project," Schamp said. "But this is a matter of environmental protection, and we need to act quickly. We ask the public for their patience." 

Washington County is committed to planning, building and maintaining a great transportation system, ensuring the safety of all roadway users, and operating the County roadway system in a cost-effective and environmentally responsible manner.

Media Contact:

Melissa De Lyser, Communications Coordinator