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McKenzie Pass opens Thursday with newly paved road

Newly paved road through lava beds with snowcapped mountains in the background.
New pavement on McKenzie Pass. ODOT says drivers on this winding road need to be on the lookout for cyclists and pedestrians, as this is a popular scenic route for many types of road users.

The road over McKenzie Pass will open Thursday morning.

It was closed while crews re-paved the narrow, winding section of road between the winter gate and summit on the east side of the pass.

Paving work will now move to the area below the snow gate in Sisters.

A road being repaved with an open gate and trees and workers.
Paving through the gate on Highway 242.

Since that section is wider, the road will not be closed, but it will be reduced to one lane with flaggers to guide traffic through.

Paving and striping is expected to be complete by late August.

McKenzie Highway, also known as Highway 242, is closed during the winter season. It usually opens from June to November each year.

Oregon Department of Transportation received funds from a Federal Lands Access Program grant to improve the highway from its junction with Highway 20 in Sisters to the summit at Dee Wright Observatory.

Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s host for All Things Considered on weekday afternoons. She also is the editor of the KLCC Extra, the daily digital newspaper. Rachael has a BA in English from the University of Oregon. She started out in public radio as a newsroom volunteer at KLCC in 2000.
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