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Transportation :: Roads and Highways

Mirror Lake Trailhead Relocation

Clackamas County, OR

The Mirror Lake Trail is an easy day hike located in the Mount Hood National Forest on US Highway 26 (US 26) west of Government Camp in Clackamas County, Oregon. Due to its proximity to the Portland metropolitan area and its views of Mount Hood, the trail is extremely popular and the small parking area at the trailhead is often overcrowded. The existing parking area is located on the shoulder of a sharp curve of a busy surface highway (US 26), which can result in a dangerous situation for drivers, as well as hikers who are walking from their parked cars to the trailhead.

The primary purpose of the project was to relocate the existing Mirror Lake trail parking lot that was directly adjacent to US 26 on a sharp curve, which according to a recent Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) Roadway Safety Audit, had been identified as a “High” road safety risk due to limited sight distance and poor signage. This trailhead relocation project became increasingly more critical with the rapid increase in popularity of the trail along with the recent ODOT US 26 project that restricted left in and out access to the existing trailhead with the addition of a center median barrier.

The DEA team was responsible for the development of this project from concept through final design and construction, and worked diligently to successfully meet the following critical project objectives:

  • Improve access and safety while maintaining the existing parking capacity to the Mirror Lake Trail
  • Reduce the number of crashes along US 26 within the Mt. Hood National Forest
  • Construct and maintain the highway with minimal environmental damage and meet resource and visitor needs
  • Provide safe and efficient access for those that use the transportation system and manage the forest
  • ITS Infrastructure designed to blend into the existing landscape character
  • Balance safety while not impacting the scenic integrity of the road corridor

DEA provided complete multidisciplinary services on this project, which included survey, environmental studies, permitting, utility coordination, roadway design, traffic engineering, stormwater management, and landscape architecture. In addition, DEA provided support to Western Federal Lands Highway Division (WFLHD) during the Construction Phase.


2019 Honor Award, ACEC Oregon


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