Temporary road closures on Heppner Ranger District allow for culvert replacement and wildfire rehabilitation

Release Date: Aug 8, 2014  

Map of temporary closures

Pendleton, OR:  “Two short-term road closures will go into effect over the next several weeks to allow for culvert replacement on Forest Road 24 at Indian Creek and Forest Road 23 at Willow Spring Creek.  A third closure, implemented for public safety, will include a segment of Forest Road 23 and the 2200040 road within the Sunflower Fire footprint,” said Ann Niesen, Heppner District Ranger on the Umatilla National Forest.


Timing for the two culvert replacement projects will be staggered, though there may be a few days where the closures overlap and impact access to the area.  “The closures will not cut off access to your favorite camping or hunting area, but it will require you to drive farther to reach the site,” said Niesen. 


Harney County Gypsum of Hines, OR will replace the Indian Creek culvert on Forest Road 24, beginning August 13 and running through the first week in September. Hanging Rock Construction of La Grande, Oregon will work on the Forest Road 23 Willow Spring culvert replacement September 1st through the 15th.  Forest visitors to the area can expect to encounter construction traffic when traveling on open sections of these roads. “These projects will improve fish passage and stream connectivity on Indian and Willow Spring Creek. Steelhead and resident fish habitat will improve. This work will also aid in stabilizing stream channels and roads,” said Niesen.   


Forest Road 23, from its junction with Forest Road 22 and Forest Road 2128, and Forest Road 2200040 (Turner Mt Road) will remain closed until hazard trees and other safety concerns resulting from the Sunflower Fire are mitigated.


“These closures will impact access to the forest from the Monument, Oregon side of County Road 3 and provide challenges for hunters during the first few weeks of archery season,” said Niesen.   Alternative access to the forest from the south is available off State Highway 207.  


A map of the temporary road closures is available online at www.fs.usda.gov/umatillaor at any forest office.  For more information contact the Heppner Ranger District at (541) 676-9187.