BEND, OR -- Nearly a month after closing the road into Tumalo Falls, Deschutes National Forest officials are struggling to keep visitors out of the area. Crews are working on replacing a city waterline near the falls. Jean Nelson-Dean with the Forest Service tells KBND News some visitors are either missing detour and “no parking” signs, or ignoring them altogether. "It is a full closure in the Tumalo Falls area, and that’s to allow for construction. Basically, they’re trenching in the middle of the road to put the water line in there, so it’s a full closure to anybody." She says, "It’s just like any other construction zone, you don’t want to go in there for your own safety."
Nelson-Dean says there are places open to visitors, "We do have detours up there, and they’re signed, so people can enjoy recreational activities up there and kind of go around the closure area. In addition, we have closures along the road, which is really the part people seem to be struggling with. So, when people see the ‘no parking’ signs up there, we’re just asking that they understand there’s no parking for a good stretch."
There is no clear date for when the area will reopen. "Both the city and the Forest Service recognize it’s a place people love to recreate, it’s a beautiful place. I think, both the city and the Forest Service hope to remove that closure and be done with construction as soon as possible," she says.