McKENZIE BRIDGE – With 6 inches of snow already accumulated on McKenzie Pass Highway and another 8-10 inches expected through Friday, the Oregon Department of Transportation will close Oregon 242 for the season as of 9 a.m. Thursday, Nov 13.
Even during its tenure as the main route between the southern Willamette Valley and central Oregon, the narrow, twisting roadway and high elevation made the highway too difficult and expensive to maintain and keep clear during the winter months.
ODOT’s records indicate that the earliest closure of the Old McKenzie Pass Highway occurred on October 18, 1996. The latest closure happened on January 10, 1939.
The highway is currently scheduled to reopen the third Monday in June (June 15, 2015), weather permitting. During the summer, about 300 cars a day travel the highway.