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Road near Scoggins Dam to close for seismic testing

Visitors to Hagg Lake will face the closure of the southbound lane of West Shore Drive across Scoggins Dam from May 31 — just after the Memorial Day weekend — until 5 p.m. July 1.

The closure will allow seismic testing by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, which operates the dam. Crews began April 20 to drill for soil samples from the dam’s embankment and foundation.

The planned reopening to two-way traffic would coincide with the start of Independence Day weekend.

But Jared Vauk, regional geologist for the bureau, said drilling would resume July 10 if the current work is unfinished by July 1.

Scoggins Valley Park, which draws nearly one million visitors annually, and nearby roads are maintained by Washington County.

During the closure, West Shore Drive will be open only to northbound traffic for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians. No left turns will be permitted from Scoggins Valley Road onto southbound West Shore Drive.

Traffic will have to follow Scoggins Valley Road around Hagg Lake, which is part of the bureau’s Tualatin River project and the main supply of water for Washington County.

Scoggins Dam and two others in Oregon are atop a list of dams at risk of damage from a severe earthquake — and Congress has directed the bureau to look at the potential of strengthening or replacing the dam.

A congressional appropriations bill for the next budget year has set aside $2 million for maintenance and other work at the dam.