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Sunset Highway
Oregon highways (lists: Routes - Highways)
Highway at NW 185th Avenue in Hillsboro looking west
The Sunset Highway exits the Vista Ridge Tunnel and ends in downtown Portland

The Sunset Highway No. 47 (see Oregon highways and routes), in the state of Oregon, is an official designation for the portion of U.S. Route 26 between its western terminus, south of Seaside, and the interchange with Interstate 405 in downtown Portland. The highway was officially named January 17, 1946 for the US 41st Infantry Division of the United States Army, also known as the "Sunset Division".[1]

Contents

History

The road was originally named the Wolf Creek Highway and was under construction by January 1933.[2] Both the Works Progress Administration[3] and the Civilian Conservation Corps participated in the construction during the Great Depression.[2] Portions of highway officially opened to the public on September 19, 1941. In 1949, the highway was completed.[4]

Route description

The western terminus of the highway (and of US 26) is at an interchange with U.S. Route 101 between Seaside and Cannon Beach. The highway heads east from there through the Oregon Coast Range, passing through the valleys of the Necanicum and Nehalem rivers. It then crosses over the Oregon Coast Range, where it passes through the Dennis L. Edwards Tunnel, descending into the Tualatin Valley, into the community of Banks[5].

East of Banks, the highway merges with Oregon Route 6 and becomes a freeway, which passes through the high-tech regions of Washington County. The freeway enters the Portland metropolitan area in the northeast corner of Hillsboro, then passes through the northern part of the city of Beaverton and the communities of Cedar Hills and Cedar Mill near the intersection with the northern terminus of Oregon Route 217. Also at this point, MAX Light Rail is adjacent on the north side of the highway for nearly two miles until it submerges into Robertson Tunnel.

The highway enters the Portland city limits near the Sylvan neighborhood, where it is also joined by Oregon Route 8; east of here the highway descends a steep grade through a canyon which penetrates Portland's West Hills; this stretch of the Sunset is coincident with Canyon Road. The highway skirts the southern edge of Portland's Washington Park, providing access to the Oregon Zoo and other attractions. At the bottom of the grade, the highway passes through the Vista Ridge Tunnel into downtown Portland. Immediately east of the tunnel is an interchange with I-405; this interchange is the end of the Sunset Highway. US 26 continues past from there; briefly sharing an alignment with I-405 before crossing the Willamette River on the Ross Island Bridge.

References

  1. ^ Combat Chronicle- 41st Infantry Division
  2. ^ a b Alexander, Paul. Highways, roads played vital role. The Hillsboro Argus, October 19, 1976.
  3. ^ Robbins, William G. (2002). "Subtopic : Oregon in Depression and War, 1925-1945: The Most Visible of Relief Agencies". The Oregon History Project. Oregon Historical Society. http://www.ohs.org/education/oregonhistory/narratives/subtopic.cfm?subtopic_ID=106. Retrieved 2008-08-29.  
  4. ^ Tucker, Kathy (2002). "Workmen Battle Mud, Wolf Creek Highway". The Oregon History Project. Oregon Historical Society. http://www.ohs.org/education/oregonhistory/historical_records/dspDocument.cfm?doc_ID=000DC39A-B0C6-1E35-925B80B05272006C. Retrieved 2008-08-29.  
  5. ^ The Oregon Trail

External links

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