Paving work causes traffic delays on Cornelius Pass Road

For Immediate Release: Friday, October 28, 2016

Sponsored by: Department of Land Use and Transportation, Engineering and Construction Services Division

Significant traffic delays on Cornelius Pass Road and U.S. 26 resulted from paving work associated with the Cornelius Pass Road widening project this morning (Oct. 28).

Washington County Department of Land Use & Transportation (LUT) has been scheduling and rescheduling paving for weeks due to the unseasonably early, heavy rains. Paving requires dry weather and temperatures above 45 degrees. While temperatures have not been a problem, parts of Washington County have seen more than 8 inches of rain this month, said Gary Stockhoff, manager, LUT Engineering and Construction Services Division.  

"Our contractors have done their best to get out there and get the paving completed during nighttime hours when traffic is lighter," he said. "But the weather hasn't cooperated." 

When staff learned on Oct. 27 that drier weather was forecast for today, Kerr Contractors paving crews were scheduled to start work at 1 a.m. today (Oct. 28).

"Kerr was supposed to have two lanes open in each direction before 6 a.m. today," said Abe Turki, LUT senior engineer. "That didn't happen, because the work did not go as planned. Only one lane was open in each direction. In addition, the traffic light at Cornelius Pass and Evergreen had been turned off for paving work and could not turned back on until 10:30 a.m. It was supposed to have been back on by 6 a.m."  

Whenever possible, LUT provides advance notice of any road construction that is likely to result in traffic delays. 

"We simply don't have that luxury at this point," Stockhoff said. "We have to take advantage of any break in the weather that will allow us to complete the work. We regret the inconvenience to all travelers." 

A minimum of four 10-hour paving shifts remain on the project. Whenever possible, those shifts will be scheduled during nighttime hours. Additional work that could result in traffic impacts includes striping, traffic detection loops, landscaping and final clean up.   All scheduling is dependent on weather. 

The Cornelius Pass Road project will widen the roadway to three lanes in each direction between Cornell Road and U.S. 26. There will be a center median and dedicated turn lanes at several intersections, including U.S. 26. Other improvements include sidewalks on both sides of the road, a buffered bike lane on the west side, a separated two-way bike path on the east side and new street lighting. It is expected to be completed in late December.  

For more information about the project, visit the project website or contact or 503-846-7800.  

Washington County is committed to planning and protecting the uses of the land and to building and maintaining a great transportation system, balancing care for the natural environment, economic development, safety and community livability.

Media Contact:

Melissa De Lyser, Communications Coordinator