Cornelius Pass Road

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Cornelius Pass Road
North end US 30.svg US 30 near Portland
US 26.svg US 26 in Hillsboro
South end OR 8.svg OR 8 in Hillsboro

Cornelius Pass Road is an arterial road over Cornelius Pass in the Tualatin Mountains west of Portland, Oregon, United States. Running north–south, the road stretches between U.S. Route 30 on the north and Oregon Route 8 on the south. The road passes through Washington and Multnomah counties, crossing the Tualatin Mountains at Cornelius Pass at the 577-foot (176 m) elevation.[1] TriMet's MAX Light Rail line (Blue Line or Westside MAX) travels over the road on a bridge.


The road was built by Thomas R. Cornelius in the 1800s.[2] The interchange with the Sunset Highway (U.S. 26) was rebuilt and widened in 1989, and the road widened to five lanes from the freeway to Cornell Road the following year.[3][4] In 1996, the road was extended southward when 216th and 219th avenues were renamed and became the southern section of the road,[5] terminating at Tualatin Valley Highway. At that time the intersection with Baseline Road was re-aligned.[5] The intersection with U.S. 26 was revised in 2005 with new on- and off-ramps extending from Cornelius Pass to the east, where a railroad overpass had previously been located.[6][7] In 2008, the entire Multnomah County section was changed to a no-passing zone on the winding road over the Tualatin Mountains.[8]

A one-mile section from Lois to Wilkins streets closed for eight months in 2010 in order to widen the road in that area to five lanes as well as add bike lanes and sidewalks.[9] The $12 million project included a new 182-foot (55 m) bridge over Beaverton Creek.[10] The county hoped to widen the remaining portion of the road to five lanes between Walbridge/Aloclek and Wilkins.[11] Announced in 2011, the expected cost was $10.1 million and would include a new bridge over Rock Creek.[11] Construction closed the section for six months, with the new bridge opening on December 31, 2012, while the remaining widening is expected to continue until the middle of 2013.[12]

Hillsboro also began preliminary work in 2011 to extend Cornelius Pass south of Tualatin Valley Highway to prepare for the development of South Hillsboro.[13] The Oregon Legislature approved $9.5 million in 2012 to fund safety improvements such as guardrails.[14] Hillsboro also announced plans in 2012 to widen the road to seven lanes between Cornell and U.S. 26.[15]


Cornelius Pass at Baseline Road

Cornelius Pass is one of only two main north–south connecting roads in Hillsboro.[16] The former country road handles 11,000 drivers each day and is an arterial route from the Tualatin Valley between Hillsboro to the Columbia River north of Portland.[8] A mountainous road at points, 1,500 of the 11,000 vehicles each day are tractor-trailers on the road designed to handle up to 10,000 vehicles per day.[17] A portion of the road, from US 26 to Cornell, is part of the National Highway System.[18] As of 2010, the average daily traffic on the road in Washington County from north to south was 8,130 vehicles just north of Germantown Road, 11,003 just south of Germantown, 17,947 a little south of West Union Road, 38,860 just north of Imbrie Drive, 26,542 just north of Cornell Road, 18,863 a bit north of Quatama Road, 18,208 just north of Baseline Road, 21,156 a little south of Baseline, and 16,294 just north of the road's current terminus at Tualatin Valley Highway.[19]

Major intersections[edit]

County Location mi km Destinations Notes
Multnomah Portland US 30 – Portland, St. Helens
Washington Hillsboro US 26 – North Plains, Beaverton Interchange
Cornell Road
Baseline Road
Reedville OR 8 – Hillsboro, Aloha
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also[edit]


  1. ^ USGS Map Name: Linnton, OR. TopoQuest. Retrieved on June 3, 2008.
  2. ^ Baron, Connie and Michelle Trappen. Paths linking past and present. The Oregonian, March 6, 2008.
  3. ^ Sunset lanes to close. The Oregonian, July 11, 1989.
  4. ^ Road projects prompt county to ask state aid. The Oregonian, April 2, 1989.
  5. ^ a b Hamilton, Don. Road work ahead. The Oregonian, June 6, 1996.
  6. ^ U.S. 26 Work Continues. The Oregonian, January 10, 2005.
  7. ^ Anderson, David R. (February 20, 2003). "Help in sight for Sunset interchange". The Oregonian. 
  8. ^ a b Malkin, Whitney. Family hopes to keep road from claiming another life. The Oregonian, April 12, 2008.
  9. ^ Parks, Casey (January 19, 2010). "Hillsboro section of Cornelius Pass Road will close for eight months, $12 million in improvements". The Oregonian. Retrieved 20 January 2010. 
  10. ^ Eckert, Kurt (December 7, 2010). "New Cornelius Pass Road set to ring in a New Year". The Hillsboro Argus. Retrieved 9 March 2012. 
  11. ^ a b Eckert, Kurt (September 27, 2011). "County looks to finish Corn Pass with existing road funds". The Hillsboro Argus. Retrieved 9 March 2012. 
  12. ^ Driessen, Katherine (December 31, 2012). "Cornelius Pass Road between Quatama Road and Cherry Drive in Hillsboro to reopen Monday evening". The Oregonian. Retrieved 3 January 2013. 
  13. ^ Parks, Casey (July 26, 2011). "Hillsboro will begin work on Cornelius Pass Road expansion". The Oregonian. Retrieved 9 March 2012. 
  14. ^ Theen, Andrew (May 18, 2012). "Scappoose family turns grief into political action, secures state money to improve dangerous road". The Oregonian. Retrieved May 23, 2012. 
  15. ^ Theen, Andrew (September 25, 2012). "Hillsboro planning commission seeks public comment on future road projects". The Oregonian. Retrieved 3 January 2013. 
  16. ^ Bermudez, Esmeralda. Hillsboro seeks money for new north–south road. The Oregonian, February 23, 2006.
  17. ^ Starke, Amy Martinez. Family wants more than roadside marker. The Oregonian, January 26, 2008.
  18. ^ Oregon Transportation Map: Washington County. Oregon Department of Transportation. Retrieved on June 3, 2008.
  19. ^ "Traffic Station Count Program 2010" (PDF). Department of Land Use and Transportation. Washington County. February 16, 2011.