Motorists traveling along Barlow Road to and from Canby will have to be prepared for detours until the end of August.

Clackamas County has begun a safety improvement project along Barlow Road around the Zimmerman Road intersection. In all, 1,400 feet of Barlow Road will be reconstructed and realigned to meet current American Association of State Highway and Transportation standards.

This will entail some shoulder widening, cut slopes being laid back and a redesign that will lower the profile of the hill and increase sight distance. It will also include paving and striping along the road by Sept. 1, with the remaining work done by the end of October.

A detour is in place, from South Barnards Road to Highway 170 to South Lone Elder Road.

Clackamas County and its Transportation Engineering Division heard from about 30 residents of the area during a December 2012 meeting at Ninety-One School. And they all seemed to have a story to tell.

“Almost all those people knew someone or had heard of someone or had themselves a story to tell about coming up the hill at Barlow Road,” said Ellen Rogalin, community relations specialist with Clackamas County.

The $2.3 million project was slated for 2013 but was pushed back to early summer 2014. The county, cognizant of school bus routes running through the area, wanted to do the project during the summer months.

And what’s going to happen? Simply put, Barlow Road is going to get a shave.

The county plans to reduce the hill so that there will be improved sight distance coming up Barlow to Zimmerman. Crews will shave of the hill and reconstruct about 1,400 feet of the vertical curve of Barlow.

Addditionally, they will remove some trees from the southwest corner and remove the embankment on the east side of Barlow Road as drivers come up the hill.

Rogalin said that the Barlow-Zimmerman roads project is considered one of the county’s top safety projects.

The money is coming from the Federal High Risk Rural Roads program, a program that doesn’t exist anymore. It existed long enough for the county to get money from it.

Project information is available at

Contract Publishing

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