A five-mile section of State Route 7 in the Alder Canyon area near La Grande has reopened to traffic after a three-month closure while crews built a wall to stabilize a hillside prone to landslides.
The state Department of Transportation reopened the highway at 7 p.m. last Saturday, about two months earlier than scheduled. DOT officials earlier had said the project would require it be closed through late November.
Among other work, the retaining wall involved installing 30 support piles up to 12 feet deep into the soil. That work was completed faster than scheduled and is credited with the early opening, according to DOT. Crews took advantage of Saturday’s dry weather to complete weather-sensitive work and restripe the highway.
The original 50 mile-per-hour speed limit has been reinstated.
A spokeswoman said DOT thanks motorists, businesses and residents directly affected by the closure and those along the detour route “for their patience and tolerance while this work was underway.”