COLUMBIA RIVER GORGE - Both the Historic Columbia River Highway and the Vista House at Crown Point will re-open this week following a highway restoration project that began several months ago.
Crews have been working on restoring a 600-foot viaduct that surrounds the Vista House. The viaduct and its 29 support columns were deteriorating and without restoration, the Oregon Department of Transportation would have had to put weight restrictions in place to keep tourist buses, RVs and other large vehicles off the road.
The bulk of the work is now done and both the highway and Vista House will re-open on Friday, Feb. 1. The Vista House will then operate on winter hours and be open, weather permitting, on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Historic Columbia River Highway originally opened to vehicles in 1916 and the Vista House, which sits 733 foot above the Columbia River on top of Crown Point, opened two years later. Around half a million people visit the tourist attraction each year.