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Browse the open house to learn more about
this pavement preservation project on OR 203.

If you have questions or concerns you would like to share with us, please let us know.

OR 203 is in need of repairs. The rough surface and potholes create unsafe conditions for vehicles and bicycles.

Paving the Catherine Creek Summit Sno-park is also part of the project. In winter, vehicles are parked along the highway instead of the parking lot, making winter snow removal more difficult.


Learn more about why this project is needed.
Find out what we have planned for OR 203 and how this project may impact you.
We want to hear from you. Submit comments and questions here.

Project Background

OR 203 provides important access to recreation sites in the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. Some campgrounds and trailheads are only accessible via this section of highway.

In addition, Catherine Creek Summit Sno-Park and sledding hill provides opportunities for winter recreation and serves as a gateway to groomed snowmobile routes and cross-country skiing.

OR 203 is also designated an Oregon Scenic Bikeway and used regularly for cycling events in eastern Oregon.


Aging pavement is in poor condition and deteriorating dramatically. If not addressed, the road base could fail. 

Current pavement condition makes for a challenging and rough ride for cyclists. Further degradation may cause them to weave in and out of travel lanes to avoid sections of rough road and potholes.

The sno-park is not paved and users often park along the highway shoulders. This makes plowing snow difficult.


A new road surface will provide motorists and cyclists with a smoother, safer ride.

Paving the sno-park will encourage use of the parking area. This will reduce parking along the highway, which makes winter snow removal easier.

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Project Details

The main purpose of the project is to repave an 11-mile section of OR 203.

We will add other improvements as follows.


Project begins at milepost 0 in Union, at the corner of OR 237/Main Street and OR 203/East Beakman Street, and ends at milepost 11.40, at Catherine Creek Lane.


This project includes the following elements.

Resurface road

  • We will use a variety of preservation techniques that include asphalt and chip seal.

Catherine Creek Summit Sno-park

  • The parking lot at Catherine Creek Summit Sno-park, at milepost 14.6, is owned and maintained by the U.S. Forest Service.

  • Currently gravel, the parking lot does not get a lot of use in the winter, and people tend to park their vehicles along the highway. This makes snow removal more difficult.

Catherine Creek State Park parking lot

  • This parking lot at milepost 8.67 is owned by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. It will be paved as part of this project.

Bridge repairs

There are two bridges on this section of OR 203.

  1. The bridge at mile 0.63, just east of Union, will be resurfaced. We will also replace the rail to bring it to current safety standards.

  2. The bridge between mileposts 9.55 and 9.59, south east of Catherine Creek State Park, is an historic timber bridge built in 1940. The bridge and approaches were resurfaced in 2021. No work will take place as part of this project.


The cost for this project is $3.3 million.


The project is currently in design and goes out to bid in December 2022. Construction is scheduled for spring and summer of 2023.

Construction Impacts

We will know more about impacts when we get closer to construction. However, you can expect the following.

  • Lane closures.
  • Flagging.
  • Pilot cars.
  • Legal oversize loads will be accommodated under pilot car.
  • Bicyclists and motorists are expected to share the travel lanes due to narrow or non-existent highway shoulders.
  • Impacts in Union will be minimal. 
    • There are few pedestrian facilities within the project limits.
      • Pedestrians will be accommodated through the work zone in areas that include sidewalks.
      • ADA Curb Ramps in the project limits were constructed in 2020.

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Stay Involved

Thank you for taking the time to visit our online open house

to learn more about this pavement preservation project.

We want to hear from you. If you have any questions or comments please let us know.

You can contact us, sign up for project updates and take a short survey below.

Contact us

For more information about the project, please visit the project webpage or contact:

Erin Winterton
Transportation Project Manager

Sign up

Sign up to receive Northeast Oregon news releases (Morrow, Umatilla, Wallowa, Union and Baker Counties) and stay up-to-date on this and other projects in northeast Oregon.

Take our survey

Please use this survey to let us know if you have any questions about this project. We would also like to know how you found out about the open house.

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