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Repairs slated for Dutch Canyon Road to thrift store

The road leading motorists to the Scappoose Senior Center Thrift Store is marred by muddy potholes and loose gravel, but improvements are on the way.

Photo Credit: COURTNEY VAUGHN - marked by pot holes and mud, making it difficult for drivers to access the Scappoose Senior Center Thrift Store. The city of Scappoose voted to accept the road into its maintained roads system.

Scappoose city councilors voted unanimously Nov. 3 to adopt the unpaved portion of Dutch Canyon Road into the city’s inventory of maintained roads.

Columbia County currently owns the right-of-way. The county agreed to grade and add new gravel on the road on the condition the city accepts responsibility for its future maintenance.

Tristan Wood, an engineering project coordinator for the Columbia County Roads Department, told the council the county could bring the road up to a more drivable condition, at the county’s expense, and apply a hard polymer coating as a dust control measure. The section of Dutch Canyon Road near Old Portland Road, where the work would occur, is not expected to be paved.

Wood said the road has never been a public road, which means the county could not spend public funds on it. With the city’s acceptance of the road, the county will do the first round of improvements, but the city should expect to maintain the road every couple of years, he said.

“When they put the new highway in, this access road was bisected and it was no longer needed,” Wood explained. “It was a bisecting road down to maintain the railroad tracks. The county never maintained this section of the road. We never took ownership of it.”

City Manager Larry Lehman reminded the council that the city talked with senior center representatives about the issue over the summer.

“We made a pledge to them that we would do our best to try to fix up that road there,” Lehman said.