PENDLETON, Ore. — Just in time for the holiday weekend, contractors have completed the chip seal resurfacing project on 33.6 miles of the Blue Mountain Scenic Byway. The portion of the road that was chip sealed is located on the North Fork John Day Ranger District south of Ukiah and was funded through the Great American Outdoors Act.
The Blue Mountain Scenic Byway is a popular 145-mile route that travels from near Arlington to Granite. This road is also a major portal to both the Umatilla and Wallowa-Whitman National Forests, offering numerous opportunities for scenic views and recreation. The investment in deferred maintenance on these portions of the road will reduce risk to public safety, enhance visitor access, and extend the life of this scenic route for 10-20 years.
The Umatilla National Forest also received additional funding through the Great American Outdoors Act to chip seal another 22 miles of the Blue Mountain Scenic Byway that crosses through the Heppner Ranger District. Additional updates will be shared as work gets underway.
The funding for the Blue Mountain Scenic Byway chip seal project is part of a $285 million investment on National Forests that is made possible by the recently created National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund, established in 2020 by the Great American Outdoors Act.
Nationally, the funds will allow the Forest Service to implement more than 500 infrastructure improvement projects essential to the continued use and enjoyment of national forests lands this year.
The projects will serve as catalysts for economic development and employment opportunities in rural communities and will strengthen shared stewardship of national forests and grasslands by expanding the Forest Service work with public and private partners.
Projects funded by the Legacy Restoration Fund will contribute to efforts to develop more sustainable infrastructure resilient to climate change impacts. Projects may also address Administration objectives to provide improved recreational opportunities and access to underserved communities.
For more information on these projects in the Pacific Northwest Region, visit the regional GAOA website.
More information about the Umatilla National Forest is available at https://www.fs.usda.gov/umatilla.