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Children, cyclists, trucks among major concerns for drivers on detour routes

With school starting back up, drivers on detour routes for the Cornelius Pass Road closure will see additional traffic and safety concerns as children get on and off school busses.

Skyline Elementary School is located on Northwest Skyline Boulevard, putting it in the primary detour path.

Portland Community College's fall session starts Sept. 23, meaning Rock Creek students who live in Columbia County will pile onto the traffic. The most recent updates from the county still show an anticipated re-opening of Cornelius Pass Road in late September.

A Facebook group created specifically to share images and stories of poor driving on the detour routes has garnered dozens of posts, many showing trucks stuck on windy roads.

Sheriff's deputies from Multnomah and Washington counties have issued citations for truck drivers illegally using the reroutes, but some reports suggest the truck drivers who have ended up on the detour routes are as unhappy as the drivers stuck behind them. For truck drivers who are just passing through the area, the few signs displayed on routes where trucks aren't allowed have been easy to miss. Once on the windy roads, there's often no way for trucks to turn around.COURTESY ILLUSTRATION - A Multnomah County map shows road closures and detours during the Northwest Cornelius Pass Road improvement project.

To report illegal truck trips, call the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office at 503-823-3333.

Large trucks on the detour routes are unable to handle the narrow, slanted roads, leading them to take over both lanes or slip off the pavement. The trucks pose an additional risk to other drivers on windy roads where oncoming traffic has limited visibility and little time to adjust to a truck that has crossed into their lane.

Bicyclists on the detour routes have also experienced added danger. First responders were called to a collision involving a cyclist on Aug. 25 on Northwest Newberry Road. The Multnomah County Sheriff's Office did not respond to requests for more information about the incident.

Cyclists are encouraged to avoid the roads around Newberry during the closure, though those routes have made popular rides for avid cyclists in the past.

The closure, which started in July, is the result of a $5.65 million project to make safety improvements on the high-traffic road. At points along the road, the contractor has been working to realign sharp curves to reduce crashes and improve visibility.

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