Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer today announced the proposed relocation of the Mt. Hood Summit Rest Area on Highway 26 east of Government Camp has secured $715,000 in federal funds to study the move.
The resources from the Federal Lands Access Program (FLAP) follows a Oct. 7, 2021 letter that Wyden, Merkley and Blumenauer wrote to U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg seeking the funds for more than two dozen organizations working closely with the U.S. Forest Service, the state of Oregon and Oregon Solutions.
The lawmakers’ letter noted that the current rest area dates back to the 1950s, and that increased traffic volumes decades later make the site unsafe for recreationists, travelers, and commercial truck traffic.
“This federal investment takes a significant step on the road toward making this heavily used stop for motorists on U.S. 26 a safer spot,” Wyden said. “An essential part of quality infrastructure is safety, and I’ll continue teaming up with Oregonians working hard to reach the ultimate goal of ensuring this rest stop is as safe as possible.”
“Mt. Hood attracts millions of visitors every year, making the safety and accessibility of the Highway 26/Highway 35 corridor crucial,” said Senator Merkley. “These federal dollars will support the great work being done by local partners to find transportation and transit solutions around the mountain.”
“For years, the people who live, work, and play on Mt Hood have identified this rest stop area as a safety concern. Millions of people visit Mt. Hood each year, and I’m pleased that the federal government is being a constructive partner to help evaluate safer alternatives,” said Congressman Blumenauer.
“The FLAP funds are a big deal for the many partners and interests that have come together in support of making this change,” said Doug Decker, Oregon Solutions Project Manager. “The grant will enable all of us to roll up our sleeves now and prepare a solution that addresses the overlapping needs that are just not met by the 1950s-era rest area. Figuring this out can be a keystone for so many positive changes for the community, the environment, and highway safety.”
A web version of this release is here.