Planning for the Historic Highway’s 100th Anniversary in 2016
June 7, 2016 marks the centennial of the Historic Columbia River Highway. Over the past 100 years the highway remains as one of America’s most iconic roads. The Columbia River Highway was celebrated as much for its engineering accomplishments as for its incomparable beauty. It was the first major paved highway in the Pacific Northwest, and it was later designated as a National Historic Landmark because it was the first scenic highway in the United States.
The highway that brings the majestic Columbia River Gorge and all its stunning vistas into view still plays a rich and multi-faceted role in the lives of Oregonians and Washingtonians. It is a living monument to the achievements of Samuel Lancaster, its chief engineer, his team, and to their standard of excellence in early 20th century road building.
Clearly, 2016 is an important milestone, not only as we recall past accomplishments, but by inviting and encouraging the best possible future for our beloved “King of Roads” and the delightful trail system that has reclaimed previously deactivated sections of its historic length. This is nothing less than a world class adventure undertaken in the spirit and enduring vision of the builders. Please join us as we plan and build our celebration. For more information contact Kristen Stallman.
Starvation Creek to Lindsey Creek Trail Ready for Construction
In early July 2014, the Hood River County and the US Forest Service (Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area) received the 700-page Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area permit application for the construction of the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail. The permit application covers the proposed trail construction between Starvation Creek Trailhead and Lindsey Creek. This is a 1.2 mile section of trail. Trail construction should be complete in the Fall 2016.
More Bikes Mean More Money for Local Economies
A recent economic forecast, prepared by Dean Runyan and Associates and commissioned by Travel Oregon, shines a light on the economic impact cycling is making on the communities along the Historic Highway. This study provides a forecast on how the local economies will benefit from a complete Historic Highway connection through the Gorge. Support for the study was provided by the Friends of the Historic Columbia River Highway and the Ports of Cascade Locks, Hood River and The Dalles.
Here are some highlights from the study.
- In 2013, an estimated 230,000 bicycle recreation trips generated over $21 million in visitor spending made within the communities located in the Columbia River Gorge. With the completion of bicycle trail development projects, bicycle recreation activity participants will make an additional $6.3 million in expenditures per year in the local communities throughout the Gorge.
- Bicycle recreation spending supports approximately 270 full and part-time jobs, with earnings of $5.7 million and generating over $900,000 in state and local tax receipts. With the complete State Trail connection, additional bicycle recreation spending will support an additional 82 full and part-time jobs with approximately $1.7 million in earnings and $270,000 in state and local tax receipts annually.
February 21, 2014 was a momentous day for the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail Reconnection Project. The Oregon Transportation Commission under the leadership of Chair Pat Egan, unanimously approved a resolution of support for completing the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail. This action by Department of Transportation’s highest body demonstrates their commitment to this important effort. The Commission also recognized the Historic Columbia River Highway Advisory Committee’s long standing efforts to achieve this vision to the Trail’s completion.
A new section of the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail opened in fall of 2013 covering the 1.6-mile stretch between Troutdale, Oregon, and Cascade Locks, Oregon, in a 12-foot-wide bike path.
BikePortland.org | Columbia River Hwy State Trail gets major endorsement | Feb. 25, 2014
Oregonian | Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail opens Moffett Creek section | Nov. 2013
OPB | Bikers Can Now Travel Troutdale To Cascade Locks On State Trail | Nov. 2013
BikePortland Blog | New section of Historic Columbia River Hwy State Trail now open | Nov. 2013