Safety improvement work at the Nehalem Bay airstrip inside Nehalem Bay State Park is underway.

The project involves removing underbrush along both sides of the 2,350-foot airstrip, and clearing out about 20 acres of non-native maritime pine trees at its north end. The trees, planted sometime in the mid-1970s, are now about 50 to 70 feet tall. They have become a significant safety hazard for pilots on takeoff and landing. The airstrip is one of 28 state-owned airstrips serving small communities for emergency access, recreation, and general transportation.

The Oregon Department of Aviation, which oversees the operation and maintenance of state-owned airstrips such as the one at Nehalem Bay, is funding the project. Work will be suspended on weekends and during spring break, from March 23-April 8. The project is expected to be finished by the end of April.

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