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I-84 open again after crews removed more trees Saturday morning

ODOT crews are working to clear I-84 and assess dangers in the area. The interstate has been closed since Monday, September 4, 2017. The Eagle Creek Fire burned close to the roadway and caused trees and rocks to slide onto the pavement. Photo courtesy ODOT

CASCADE LOCKS, Ore. – Interstate 84 opened again to westbound drivers Saturday morning.

The Oregon Department of Transportation reopened the interstate Thursday night, but then closed it again Saturday from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. in order to continue removing dangerous trees.

The Bonneville Power Administration spent the morning removing large trees that posed a threat to the roadway after being burned in the Eagle Creek Fire.

Officials said some of those trees will be near Toothrock Tunnel.

The eastbound lanes are still closed. ODOT doesn’t know right now when those lanes will be ready to be reopened.

ODOT decided to reopen the westbound lanes Thursday night because crews had finished burnout operations near the freeway on the fire’s east end where it was still active, and the fire didn’t threaten the freeway anymore.

ODOT said as the work to remove rock and trees continues along the eastbound lanes, it is finding more and more material that needs to be removed, and that will probably stretch out the closure for those lanes.

It said it'll chip up some of the downed trees and use the chips as cover to rehabilitate damaged trails in the Gorge. The rest will be put into streams to improve fish habitat.

The Eagle Creek Fire is about 45,579 acres and 32 percent contained.

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