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Grace Su urges hungry diners to push through paving project, for free appetizer with dinner of $20 or more
The Oregon Department of Transportation has begun a major paving and striping project that will affect traffic flow on Oregon 35 south from its intersection at Button Junction with the historic Columbia River Highway (near Tum-a-Lum and Grace Su’s China Gorge).
Grace Su assures us that the China Gorge will be glad to provide quick take-out meals for motorists stuck in expected delays of up to 20 minutes. Beyond that, she’s offering an incentive to customers inconvenienced by the construction work:
To be more specific, Grace is offering customers a free appetizer worth up to $4.95 on every order of $20 or more. The offer is good until the construction delays end near the China Gorge.
ODOT says work hours are 4 a.m. to 8 p.m. Work started Monday, June 25. This will continue through the week. No work is planned after 3 p.m. on Friday or on Saturday or Sunday. During the paving, flaggers and pilot cars will be assisting road users through all legs of the intersection. ODOT says drivers should expect delays while traveling through this area.
Even though the project presents some travel challenges for motorists hoping to access the best Chinese food in the Gorge (in our humble opinion, but you do agree, don’t you?), it figures to leave us all better off when the work is done.
ODOT plans to re-pave an 8-mile section of Oregon 35, install rumble strips and re-stripe the Button Junction intersection to create a left-turn lane for northbound traffic heading toward downtown Hood River. After it’s all done, ODOT hopes the changes will improve northbound traffic flow.
Paving will continue south from Button Junction to Willow Flat Road at milepost 94 — about 1.5 miles south of the Odell turnoff.
As we all know, that stretch of road is a bit battered. Among other things, it’s developed a washboard surface on the uphill just south of Hood River.
ODOT says that in addition to the main roadway, the highway shoulders will be paved to provide a better surface for bicyclists.
The project also will install rumble strips, to help keep drivers in their travel lane and out of the brush. The stretch of road has become infamous for traffic accidents, and ODOT hopes the rumble strips will reduce the number of head-on, side-swipe and off-road accidents. The rumble strips are being installed on the center line and both edges of the highway, where feasible.
To improve northbound flow, ODOT is re-striping the Button Junction intersection to provide a dedicated left turn lane onto State Street. Cross walks will be installed at the intersection making it safer for pedestrians and bicyclists to get through the intersection.
The project is expected to last one month and will involve single-lane closures with flaggers. Road surface grinding and paving was to begin June 18, but was pushed back to this week. It will take place at night, after 10 p.m. Other work will be during the day.
The project will be fully complete before July 30.read more