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Oregon Route 224 Corridor Study: Phase 1 – Existing Conditions Assessment

In 2020, the Mount Hood National Forest experienced unprecedented catastrophic wildfire events that damaged recreational sites and transportation assets along the Clackamas River corridor. A 19-mile segment of OR 224, the primary route connecting travelers from the Portland metro area to the forest, has been closed to the public since the Riverside Fire due to hazardous conditions and ongoing rehabilitation work. Post-fire assessments and emergency repairs have been completed over the past year to determine the scale of damage, anticipate high-risk areas in the changed landscape, and stabilize the roadway. 
To leverage the ongoing recovery efforts happening in the Mount Hood National Forest, the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) requested technical planning assistance from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Office of Federal Lands Highway Western Federal Lands Highway Division (WFLHD) to complete an Existing Conditions Assessment of the OR 224 corridor to better understand the extent of post-wildfire conditions as they relate to future use and transportation system resiliency within the National Forest. The Phase 1 Existing Conditions Assessment is the first of a two-phase Corridor Study for OR 224 and its purpose is to evaluate and document current baseline conditions along the closed portion of the corridor with a focus on safety, traffic operations, unstable slopes, and hydrology features. 
The findings from the Phase 1 Existing Conditions Assessment include technical recommendations, data gaps, and areas of further study for a Phase 2 OR 224 Corridor Master Plan. A high-level Phase 2 Corridor Master Plan scope and project budget was also developed to assist the USFS and ODOT in seeking additional funding resources for comprehensive planning, as they become available. While this Phase 1 baseline assessment offers valuable insights into current conditions, a Corridor Master Plan is needed to develop a long-term, coordinated vision and related goals for the impacted area, further investigate high risk areas along the corridor, develop initial site designs for priority transportation improvements, and identify a comprehensive suite of capital projects and policy recommendations that support the many uses of the Mount Hood National Forest while enhancing transportation access.