ODOT to take Cornelius Pass ownership effective March 1

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The Oregon Department of Transportation will take over responsibility for the road and repave this summer

Cornelius Pass Road in Multnomah County in 2013 (PMG File Photo)

(PORTLAND TRIBUNE) — The transfer of Cornelius Pass Road to Oregon Department of Transportation ownership will be finalized Monday, March 1.

This summer, ODOT will re-pave the highway between Highway 30 and the Multnomah County line, according to a Multnomah County spokesperson.

Over the summers of 2019 and 2020, Multnomah County undertook a long-awaited $5.65 million road improvement project on Northwest Cornelius Pass Road. Many of the Columbia County residents who use Cornelius Pass to commute to jobs in Washington County were disappointed by the improvements, which didn’t include repaving the road except in spots that were undergoing other safety improvements.

The safety improvements were a prerequisite for ODOT accepting ownership of the road. They included widening portions of the road to soften sharp curves and adding guard rails and signage.

Multnomah and Washington counties currently own the 8.1-mile stretch of road between U.S. 30 (also known as Columbia River Highway in Columbia County and St. Helens Road in Multnomah County) and U.S. 26 (Sunset Highway).

The portion of Cornelius Pass south of Highway 26 will remain under Washington County jurisdiction.

The ODOT portion of the road will have a new designation: Highway 127. The only immediate change to the road will be the addition of ODOT signage to mark it as a state highway.

Though the road starts at Highway 30 in Multnomah County, it is heavily used by trucks and Columbia County residents who commute to Washington County. Washington County residents also use the road to commute to jobs in Scappoose and Northwest Portland, or as a route to the St. Johns Bridge to North Portland.

ODOT and the two counties that Cornelius Pass runs through are in the design stage of a project to additional safety improvements between Highway 30 and Highway 8, or Tualatin Valley Highway, in Hillsboro. An ODOT project page shows the budget for that project is $2.8 million, with less than $100,000 spent so far.

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