The McKenzie Highway between Highway 126 west of the Cascades and the city of Sisters has several hairpin curves up to 160 degrees and about 20 miles of 8-foot lanes that are too tight even for some legal recreational vehicles.
The highway, which is blocked by deep snow all winter and most of spring each year, is restricted to lengths of 35 feet or less. A sensor on the highway alerts law enforcement to violations of the length limit.
Truck drivers who attempt to use this route can end up stuck, blocking traffic and facing expensive cleanup and removal of their vehicles and loads. Recent mishaps have been costly:
* $2,000 for a tow vehicle
* $12,000 to $15,000 for a lost load of lumber
* $320 for two flaggers for four hours while awaiting a cleanup and tow vehicle
* A traffic fine of at least $260
Instead of crossing the Cascades over the McKenzie Pass, commercial trucks should use Oregon 126 between Springfield and the Santiam Junction, then west on Oregon 22 toward Salem or east on U.S. 20 / Oregon 126 toward Sisters and Bend.