PORTLAND, Ore. — Highway 30 in Northwest Portland is expected to be closed through the evening commute after large trees and power poles fell across the road.
"It just covered the entire width of the roadway," said Kimberly Dinwiddie with ODOT.
The Oregon Department of Transportation said the road is closed between St. Johns Bridge and Northwest Kittridge Avenue.
At 3 p.m., ODOT officials said there was a chance the stretch of highway could open at mid-evening.
"Motorists on their Wednesday afternoon commute need to be ready for some long delays and some long waits in traffic," said ODOT spokesman Don Hamilton.
An ODOT geologist said the rain and a shallow root system caused a large tree to fall and take down four power poles, causing a power outage. Portland General Electric crews have to cut the downed power poles apart and replace them.
"We want to get the road open, but we want to be safe as well," said Dinwiddie. "At this point, we don't know when that will be."
Drivers should expect more traffic on Interstate 5 north of Downtown Portland because of the closure.
Hamilton said more than 22,000 drivers use the St. Johns Bridge each day.
ODOT suggested drivers use one of the following alternate routes to get around the closed highway:
- Cornelius Pass Road
- Interstate 5 to Lombard to the St. Johns Bridge
- Interstate 5 to Longview, Wash. to cross the Lewis and Clark Bridge into Rainier, Ore.
Crews have to cut apart downed utility poles and replace them. Road likely to be closed through evening commute. twitter.com/LincolnGraves/…— Lincoln Graves (@LincolnGraves) May 29, 2013
View Hwy 30 closed in a larger map